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Here and Now: Poetic license

Composite Gallery photography show reaches for the evocative

Laura Griffin describes her photographs as "a poem made up of images," and the comparison turns out to be an apt one easily extended to the other four women photographers in Here and Now at Composition Gallery.

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The Belgian lace to fiction's tightly woven, workhorse quilt, poetry creates evocative impressions and feelings through a minimalist form. All five of these photographers create work that could be described as poetic: subtle, evocative, suggesting but never stating outright what the photographer is thinking.

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The work in Here and Now, while sharing a certain poetic ambiguity, rambles and roams in terms of style and content. Some of the photographers relish formal issues and the tradition of black-and-white nature photography typified by Ansel Adams. Diane Kirkland creates Gothic portraits of the Georgia landscape as haunted and romantic as any on the British moors, though the imprecision of her digital printing process can undercut the beauty of her forms.

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Other photographers are more driven by a combination of formal concerns and content, as with Robin Perry Dana's photographs of the effects of kaolin mining on the central Georgia landscape whose most shocking dimension is the Crayola box range of the Earth's color palette.

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Griffin is the sly comedian of the bunch and the one who delivers the best synthesis of content and form. Her work has the wry observational quality of indie cinema typified by "Wedding," in which a well-dressed man – the groom, one imagines – sits on the edge of a hotel-room bed, his hands knit in an expression of anticipation or anxiety.

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Exploring similar material of travel, Mary Anne Mitchell and Jeani Elbaum offer dramatically different perspectives on their wanderings. In her hazy, shimmering black-and-white images, Mitchell captures some of the fleeting, hard-to-hold glamour of New York City. Elbaum's work is less enchanted, more wary. Travel can entice but it can also alienate, and Elbaum's London images are certainly in the latter camp: shadowy figures loom overhead in underground tunnels, busy pedestrians ignore subway buskers, men skitter around the frantic streets.

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The work in Here and Now, juried by Atlanta Celebrates Photography co-founder Susan Todd-Raque, feels in every case tentative and exploratory. Interesting ideas crop up, a gem or two emerge, caps are tipped to photography's pioneers. And with time, you imagine, these five women will better find their voice and refine their messages.

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Here and Now: Our First Anniversary Show. Through April 29. Fri., 3-7 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m. Composition Gallery, 1388 McLendon Ave. 678-982-9764. www.compositiongallery.com.



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