“Cape Cod Solitude,” Photographs by Rachel Jones
“Cape Cod Solitude” is a collection of photographs by Rachel Jones depicting the solitude many felt during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibition, which will be presented in the Blue Room Gallery from March 3-27,
The Cultural Center will host an open house on Saturday, March 6, from 2-5pm.
Artist Statement: Cape Cod Solitude
These photos emerged during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, when one had to be stealthful moving about Cape Cod, avoiding people, allowing for a deeper relationship with nature. Fear was palpable and realistic as the casualties of Covid-19 mounted. With growing uncertainty and change, these places of solitude seemed to understand and offer a soft embrace. Trees sculpted into magnificent shapes by the changing harsh weather, hauntingly beautiful, provided a sense of community. Pier pilings that seemed to remain as monuments of resistance to the tides, reflected solitude and tensile strength. Sand dunes reshaped by wind and storm juxtaposed along an ocean filled with power. Toward the end of this photographic journey, my own body was ravaged by Covid, and, like these trees, pilings, and ocean, I have come to take on the shape of survival.
All are welcome, and CDC protocols are in place, including mask wearing and social distancing. By participating in any activity at the Cultural Center you acknowledge that you may risk exposure to COVID-19 and will hold the Culture Center free from any liability as a result of attending an activity. The Center highlights several protocols to ensure guest and staff health and safety, including modified hours, new visitor guidelines, and monitored attendance in galleries.
Rachel Jones Bio
My beginnings in NYC were as the daughter of a holocaust survivor. English was my second language. I have experienced deep, heartfelt losses that I suspect can be understood by many. Each time I have turned to nature for solace, including my infection with Covid-19 and its long-lasting hold on my health.
I live on Cape Cod, with my two wonderful dogs surrounded by a magical forest, connecting to the earth, sky, and water--and photography. Nature can have a healing effect, but many do not get a chance to enjoy its’ benefits.
We are nature, inseparable, one with earth, forest, sea, ponds, creeks, and sky. If we sometimes feel small and choked by what life may toss at us--sensing its expanse can bring about a sense of openness and space.
My relationship to making photos has come full circle. My earliest work was as a child taking art classes in New York City. In time, I was introduced to photography, enjoying hours printing photos in the darkroom. The importance of the civil rights movement launched me to meaningful decades of social justice activism. I have witnessed desperate rural poverty on a scale similar to the extreme poverty and health disparities I witnessed in NYC, Cleveland, Newark, N.J., and other cities where I have lived. On a scholarship, I returned to college and became a nurse, working in emergency rooms in New York City and in Newark, NJ. This was at the dawn of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, when the deaths of so many young men and women carved indelible memories. Becoming a nurse practitioner provided the skills to enhance my nursing practice. I went on to become an educator and HIV prevention nurse scientist, privileged for this work to be funded by the National Institutes of Nursing Research at NIH. It was a bold decision to move to Massachusetts, but a good one.
Thirsting for a creative outlet, I once again turned to photography. My first immersion into digital photography and the Cape was at the Cape Cod Art Center in Barnstable. Master photographers returned me to my path. These include: John Tunney with his magnificent seascapes, the late Ron Wilson with his landscape panoramas, and others. It was at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod where I met and studied with photographer, Julia Cumes, and my world opened wider. A mentorship with Alison Shaw led to the realization that I had become a photographer. I began studies in black and white photography with Chuck Kimmerle and printing with Jim Nickelson. My work has been exhibited online and in show at the Cape Cod Art Center and Cultural Center of Cape Cod. I am also a juried fine art photographer at the Cape Cod Art Center. It is my hope that these photos may bring about a sense of how connected we humans are to all that is nature.