Farrell riding high: In June of last year, Newcastle photographer Chesley “Chet” Farrell had a show of his work in the cafe at Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta. His pieces were impressive – lovely depictions of the local landscape, for the most part. Notable, though, was the fact that Farrell’s work was largely unframed. That is because the photographs that he had gathered up to exhibit at the time were basically all he had left after a fire at his home and he had to put together a show in a bit of a hurry. He did a fine job.
Farrell – who was a U.S. Navy photographer during the Vietnam War – is back on his proverbial horse in full force with a new photography show in the Hall Gallery at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus in Damariscotta. He even has included a colorful, abstract landscape painting in his exhibit, “Flanders,” a welcome stretch for the talented artist.
Farrell’s show is populated with beautifully framed works depicting the beauty of Midcoast Maine – from the Pemaquid Peninsula to two lone boats on a misty morning to a couple of beautiful takes on a beat-up old train station in Warren. His large color photograph of a purple iris, aptly called “Iris,” jumps off the wall amid the black-and-white photos surrounding it. It is perfectly framed in mahogany-colored wood that plays off of the purple and green of the photo. The subtle sheen of the frame nicely complements the sunlight shining through the flower’s petals.
Farrell varies the size of his work in this show. He includes a couple of rather large, elongated pieces of the Pemaquid area. In these pieces, Farrell has effectively emphasized the length of the jetty he photographed by creating these horizontal, stretched-out rectangles.
Farrell includes “County Morning,” a black-and-white photograph of a possibly Amish man driving a horse and buggy away from the viewer toward a foggy horizon. The striking photo, taken in Aroostook County, was used on Farrell’s publicity cards last year for his Rising Tide show. It is a welcome sight at the current show as it captures the essence of Farrell’s work in general – atmospheric and quietly reverential, whether picturing a brightly colored flower, a foggy morning, or a decayed building.
Farrell’s Hall Gallery show at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus, located at 35 Miles St. in Damariscotta, runs through Friday, Oct. 20. Learn more about Farrell at chesleyfarrell.com.
Christine’s movie pick: On Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m., Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta, in partnership with Lincoln Academy, will show “Maineland.” The film follows two Chinese students at Fryeburg Academy “escaping from the dreaded Chinese college entrance exam and coming to the promise of a Hollywood-style U.S. high school experience,” as a press release put it. One of the stars, Stella, embraces the American experience with such gusto – indulging in “rotating boyfriends” and performing “seductive dances during talent shows” – that her mother back home in China becomes alarmed.
The other student, Harry, dives into researching, for the first time, the Tiananmen Square massacre.
“Maineland” promises to be enlightening and entertaining.
Fittingly, following the movie, a discussion will be held featuring several of Lincoln Academy’s resident students.
(Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write me a letter in care of The Lincoln County News, P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543. I love to hear from readers.)