C+C Photography Gallery is pleased to present a special exhibition of Joyce Tenneson’s photography in conjunction with the screening of the feature documentary UNVEILED: Joyce Tenneson and the Heroine’s Journey at the Nantucket Film Festival. Celebrating Tenneson’s career as a pioneering female photographer, the exhibition will feature works from some of her best-known series spanning over half a century including "Transformations," "Light Warriors," "Gold Trees," "Veils," "Intimacy," "Grace," and "Radiant Beings."
Tenneson’s unique artistic style has been described as haunting, ethereal, and mystical. Her photographs embody a deep sensuality and spirituality, often engaging closely with nature as well as her own identity as a woman, artist, and mother. She first fell in love with photography through the art of self-portraiture, and in 1978, she authored In/Sights: Self Portraits by Women, the very first book ever published on self-portraits by female artists. Since then, Tenneson has found her niche in capturing both people and plants in their most intimate states, citing her incredible ability to establish an almost immediate connection with her subjects and access what critic Vicki Goldberg has called the soul "beneath the surface."
Tenneson’s inventiveness as an artist is apparent in the wide-ranging media included in the exhibition. Shot on a 20x24 Polaroid camera, Suzanne and Shark Jaw, Warrior and Mirror, Woman with Lit Branch, and Woman with Architectural Shell from her 1986-91 "Transformations" series are one-of-a-kind prints made only rarer by the limited availability of the device’s large-format film. Other works of note are Mother and Child and Nude in Veil from her 1982 "Veils" series, which are vintage prints made using hand-applied silver emulsion—an intricate process that Tenneson taught herself while experimenting with chemicals in the darkroom. Sunflowers in Motion, Chinese Lanterns, and Fern & Wildflowers from Tenneson’s most recent 2021 series "Radiant Beings" are also sure to catch one’s eye as they are printed on vibrant, handmade Japanese Awagami paper.
Her new documentary, UNVEILED: Joyce Tenneson and the Heroine’s Journey, promises to uncover a powerful secret about the artist’s life and career that has shaped her into the woman she is today. Looking back on what she has accomplished over the years, Tenneson reflects that "to be an artist, it takes deep wells of confidence," and as one of the first women to make a name for herself in the field of photography, she explains that it has required even greater strength to be able to "speak in her own voice." With this film and corresponding exhibition, Tenneson invites viewers to step inside her mesmerizing, personal world.
Tenneson’s work has been featured in Time, Life, Newsweek, Premiere, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine, and she has received numerous honors and awards including the 2005 Lucie Award for Fine Art Photographer of the Year as well as the 2018 Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Portraiture. In 2014, the Fotografiska Museum in Sweden held a retrospective of her work, and in 2021, she was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame. She is recognized as one of the leading photographers of her generation and has paved the way for women in photography today.