Pandemic Honeymoon: New Work by Renee Allie and Thom Bennett
December 5, 2020 – January 2, 2021
Physical Opening: Saturday, December 5, 12-6pm & Thursday, December 10, 6-9pm
A two-person show of work created in the last year under the influence of a new marriage and the Global Pandemic. While stuck at home for several months, Renee Allie explored (for her) the new medium of camera-less lumen photography, a departure from her usual medium-format darkroom work. Meanwhile Thom Bennett returned to his roots photographing in black and white along the backroads of the rural south.
Renee recently rebranded her shop into an exhibition space, Malarky, specializing in folk and visionary art; this is the first opening for the new format. Thom is a New Orleans-based photographer who brings a distinct, classic style harking back to the traditions of the 19th and 20th centuries of photography in a modern context.
Renee Allie is a New Orleans artist who uses darkroom photography as her main medium, exploring the layers of analog using vintage 2 ¼, 35 mm, plastic cameras and family ephemera to create bodies of work that hold personal resonance. Her photographic subjects vary and sway, from specific long-term documentary projects to reoccurring thematic ideas and concepts in portraiture and landscape. She is recently exploring various alternative processes and incorporating them into her artistic arsenal. In 2018 she completed a portfolio of hand-colored silver gelatin images that were exhibited in a solo show, American Malarkey at Brick Red Gallery; one image also received an honorary mention in And Now for Something New, Vol. 1 at Le Mieux Gallery and she was chosen as one of the twenty-five artists for the Louisiana Contemporary 2018 at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans.
Thom Bennett is a New Orleans-based photographer deeply steeped in the classical traditions of the craft; his expertise is seen in his darkroom, lighting and camera techniques. Variously employing large format, vintage Polaroid, and toy film cameras, he brings to all a distinct, classic style harking back to the traditions of the 19th and 20th centuries of photography. Precise, direct compositions, clear, pure light, and evocative subjects become a timeless body of work. Thom is equally comfortable in the commercial realm and his work includes a long stint as a jewelry and art photographer for M.S. Rau Antiques, Boyd Satellite Gallery, and Michalopoulos Gallery, among others. His editorial photographs have been seen in multiple publications including New Orleans Magazine, BIZ Magazine, New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, Restaurateur, ByFaith, Homes & Land, Kingfish, and City Business. His fine art photographs have been exhibited throughout the Southeast, including the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, WORKPLAY, Birmingham, AL; The University of Arkansas, Conway, AR; Delta State University, Cleveland, MS; The New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA., The Darkroom, New Orleans, LA, and The New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery. He has conducted workshops in large format photography and vintage darkroom techniques in New Orleans at The Darkroom and in Mississippi with the Rebirth Workshops.