From The Tribune staff reports
LEEDS — The Leeds Arts Council is hosting a Fine Art Photography Exhibition, “… buy Hyacinths to feed thy Soul” by Madelyn Bonnett, on Sunday, August 7, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The gallery is free to the public.
Bonnett explained that this exhibition really isn’t about hyacinths or about trees or seas, or birds or sunsets, although these and other beautiful creations comprise it.
“It’s about my quest to appreciate beauty wherever I find it and about how essential that quest is to my very being,” Bonnett stated. “It’s about truly noticing and observing the sights and scenes we see — yet often don’t see — in our beautiful, natural world.”
Viewing the natural world through Christian eyes allows Bonnett to focus on the miraculous, amazing, and indescribable sites, scenes, and wonders that make up our universe — trying to never take them for granted, letting them touch my mind and feed my soul.
“Capturing and sharing images of the Lord’s astonishing creations, and occasionally an exceptional manmade creation as well,
is my passion,” Bonnett stated. “Photographing the beauty of a moment, a subject, a scene, and sometimes finding a way to present it in a new light is my way of honoring that beauty. And I simply must do it. As depicted so perfectly in the lines [below] from one of my favorite poems, capturing beauty through photography is the hyacinth that feeds my soul.”
“If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft, And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left, Sell one, and with the dole — buy Hyacinths to feed thy Soul.” — the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
Bonnett has been a serious amateur nature and fine art photographer for 30-plus years. She founded MadArtz Photo in 2004 and offers her original works as photo prints and canvases, note cards, and wall calendars.
A life-long lover of God’s natural world, Bonnett, through her photography, seeks to share the truth that He alone is the Creator of the earth and all its beauty. Her favorite subjects are flora, fauna, forests, national parks, skies, and other natural wonders, but she literally sees a picture in everything.
Rarely without a camera in hand, she shoots exclusively with natural light and often uses Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) and other techniques to achieve photo-impressionist and abstract effects. Her genres also include representational, landscape, still life, and black and white photography.
Bonnett’s images have been placed in local, state, regional, national, and international awards competitions, and she continually adds new exhibitions to her schedule. In her first competition in 2005, she won Grand Prize in the Scenic Category of the Ritz/Wolf Camera International Photo Contest. Recent awards include Best in Show-Photography in the 67th Annual Birmingham Rose Show, Juror Award in Johnson Center for the Arts “Challenge 14” Juried Photo Contest, 3rd Place in Comer Museum and Arts Center’s Annual Photography Contest, and Honorable Mention in the Gadsden Museum of Art (GMA) Annual FOCUS Juried Photo Exhibit.
Since 2019 her solo exhibit “… buy Hyacinths to feed thy Soul” has toured central Alabama with stops at Tuscaloosa’s Cultural Arts Gallery, Montevallo’s Parnell Memorial Library Gallery, Sylacauga’s Comer Museum and Arts Center, the Gadsden Museum of Art and, beginning March 14, 2022, at the Shelby County Arts Center. The exhibit is a 30-image subset of her full eclectic collection of photo series, presented as gallery-wrapped canvases and featuring many works created using her signature Intentional Camera Movement technique.
Selections of Madelyn’s work are available at Blue Phrog Art Gallery in Montevallo, Wallace-Burke Fine Jewelry and Art Gallery in Homewood, The Farm Company in Columbiana, and through MadArtz Photo directly. In addition, her “Alabama Photo Album” calendars are sold annually in these and other central Alabama galleries/retail outlets.