From reports by The Tribune staff
LEEDS – Leeds Arts Council is hosting an art photography exhibition entitled ‘…buy Hyacinths to feed thy Soul’ by Madelyn Bonnett on Sunday 7 August from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. The gallery is free to the public.
Bonnett explained that this exhibition is really not about hyacinths, or trees, or seas, or birds, or sunsets, although these and other beautiful creations make it up.
“It’s about my quest to appreciate beauty wherever I find it and how important that quest is to my being,” Bonnett explained. “It’s about really noticing and observing the sights and scenes that we see—but often don’t see—in our beautiful, natural world.”
Viewing the natural world through Christian eyes allows Bonnett to focus on the wondrous, wondrous, and indescribable places, scenes, and wonders that make up our universe—trying never to take them for granted, they touch my spirit and mine to nourish the soul.
“Capturing and sharing images of the wondrous creations of the Lord and, occasionally, of an extraordinary man-made creation,
is my passion,” said Bonnett. “Photographing the beauty of a moment, a subject, a scene and sometimes finding a way to present it in a new light is my way of honoring that beauty. And I just have to do it. As so perfectly depicted in the lines [below] One of my favorite poems suggests that capturing beauty through photography is the hyacinth that nourishes my soul.”
“When you are bereft of your mortal goods and have but two loaves of bread left for you from your meager store, sell one and with the unemployment benefit – buy hyacinths to nourish your soul.” – the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
Bonnett has been a serious amateur wildlife and fine art photographer for more than 30 years. She founded MadArtz Photo in 2004 and offers her original work in photo prints and canvases, note cards and wall calendars.
A lifelong lover of God’s natural world, Bonnett seeks to convey through her photography the truth that He alone is the creator of the earth and all of its beauty. Her favorite subjects are flora, fauna, forests, national parks, skies and other natural wonders, but she literally sees an image in everything.
Rarely without a camera in hand, she photographs solely with natural light and often employs intentional camera movement (ICM) and other techniques to create photo-impressionistic and abstract effects. Her genres also include representational, landscape, still life, and black and white photography.
Bonnett’s paintings have been placed in local, state, regional, national, and international competitions, and she is constantly adding new exhibitions to her schedule. In her first competition in 2005, she won the grand prize in the landscape category of the Ritz/Wolf Camera International Photo Contest. Recent awards include Best in Show-Photography at the 67th Annual Birmingham Rose Show, Judge Award at the Johnson Center for the Arts’ Challenge 14 Jury Photo Competition, 3rd Place in the Comer Museum and Arts Center Annual Photo Competition and Honorable Mentioners Mention in the Gadsden Museum of Art (GMA) Annual FOCUS-juried photo exhibition.
Since 2019, her solo show “…buy Hyacinths to feed thy Soul” has been touring central Alabama with stops at the Cultural Arts Gallery of Tuscaloosa, the Parnell Memorial Library Gallery of Montevallo, the Comer Museum and Arts Center of Sylacauga, the Gadsden Museum of Art and beginning April 14, 2022 at the Shelby County Arts Center. Presented as gallery-wrapped canvases, the exhibition is a 30-image subset of her entire eclectic collection of photo series, featuring many works created using her signature technique of intentional camera movement.
A selection of Madelyn’s work is available at the Blue Phrog Art Gallery in Montevallo, the Wallace-Burke Fine Jewelry and Art Gallery in Homewood, The Farm Company in Columbiana and directly through MadArtz Photo. In addition, their Alabama Photo Album calendars are sold annually at these and other central Alabama gallery/retail stores.