MISSOULA – The Montana Museum of Art & Culture will open a photography exhibition from award-winning photographer and University of Montana Associate Professor Matthew Hamon on July 12.
The opening reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in the MMAC’s Paxson Gallery in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center on the UM campus.
Hamon created the arresting photographs in this exhibition partly while traveling in the Rocky Mountain West and partly during a sabbatical that took him to Iceland. Through selections from those travels, this exhibition contemplates a driving concept of Hamon’s creative work – “Ratljóst.” This Icelandic word translates to English as “sufficient light to find one’s way.”
Hamon’s photographs return the viewer to the 19th-century romantic notion that intense emotional states are a pure source of authentic aesthetic experience. This experience, with an emphasis on awe, even terror – especially when confronting the natural beauty of storms and wild landscapes – was thought to elevate human existence to something nobler than the scientific truths emerging from the forming scientific disciplines.
The photos also move the viewer to question connection to place – even places thousands of miles apart – through myriad, complex stories of travel, work, home and heritage.
Hamon’s photography will be on display in the MMAC until Oct. 31 and at Montgomery Distillery on West Front Street.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Hamon will present a slide lecture from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Masquer Theatre of the PAR/TV Center. On Tuesday, Oct. 15, the MMAC also will host a panel discussion with artist Eileen Rafferty, theologian and naturalist Rev. Peter Shober and Blackfeet/Métis environmentalist Rosalyn LaPier, moderated by curator Jeremy Canwell, also from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Masquer Theatre. Docent tours are available upon request.