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Karen Glaser: The Mark of Water

Karen Glaser, Within the Swamp, Robert's Lake Strand, 2009, pigment print, on loan from the artist.

Karen Glaser, Within the Swamp, Robert's Lake Strand, 2009, pigment print, on loan from the artist.

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art - Gainesville

By Claire Fenton

Exhibited until July 6, “The Mark of Water: Florida’s Springs and Swamps” gathered 38 photographs by artist Karen Glaser. She is fascinated by Florida’s most famous ecosystems, which she immortalizes in these series. “The first series was shot in the pristine freshwater rivers and springs of north and central Florida,” explains Glaser. “This exploration and the resulting photographs inspired a trek to the southern part of the state, where the most magnificent primordial swamps are located in Big Cypress National Preserve and its neighbor, Everglades National Park. Parts of the park and preserve are a mere 45 minutes from the sprawl of Miami to the east and Naples to the west, and much of these areas are wild and untouched. Via the good fortune of artist-in-residence awards from both the park and the preserve I got to explore this vibrant and organic region.”

Using an underwater camera, Glaser captures the beauty and fragility of these environments. She shows what she found in these landscapes without any manipulation, using the natural light as her main resource. As a result, she obtains magical scenes that recall pictorial compositions infused with an ethereal beauty, inviting us to reflect about the present and future of an ecosystem that is being affected by uncontrolled urban expansion and human abuse.

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