Live Oaks of the South

Live Oaks of the South continues Joan Rosenstein’s explorations of the landscape by focusing on the natural wonders of the majestic Southern Live Oak.

Monumental live oak trees are common sights in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Texas & Virginia. Romanticized in movies of the Old South like “Gone with the Wind”, live oaks, festooned with resurrection ferns and magnificently draped in Spanish moss have become the ionic tree of the south. These huge, majestic oaks with their limbs often plunging toward the ground, both sweep the earth and soar to the sky – seeming to encompass the entire universe.

Traveling throughout the south, Rosenstein took hundreds of images of these majestic trees, resulting in a series of abstract color photographs investigating interactions of natural elements which she manipulated in space in the computer. Synthesizing these oak tree photographs, she created complex images revealing a colorful mosaic of visually contradicting, enigmatic spaces. Her goal is to encourage the viewer to enter the new multi-layered, kaleidoscopic, magical, mystical, imaginary universe she has created using the vital rhythms, patterns, colors, and forms of the monumental live oak trees.

Using an Epson® SureColor® P5000 printer, she produced these abstract interpretations of nature in her digital darkroom in Rockville, Maryland. The photographs are printed with 10 color Epson® UltraChrome HDX® pigment inks on Epson UltraSmooth Fine Art paper. Archivally matted & framed with TruVue ® UV filter glass, the photographs have a 200 year permanence rating.

The 25 images shown on this web page are the small selection of images from the portfolio that are included in Two Interpretations of Live Oaks of the South, a travelling exhibition based on the aesthetics of two photographers who took different approaches to presenting the visual wonders of the majestic trees. In this exhibition, Georgia photographer Joe C. Rudé and Joan Rosenstein, using the same photographic media, have presented two completely different interpretations of identical subjects: one, literal, straightforward and romanticized; with the other, modern, manipulated, and abstract. Both approaches, almost emanating from different eras, effectively convey the artists’ messages of appreciation and reverence for these magnificent living structures, while standing on their own merits as timeless works of art.

Color photographs are now available as 12"x15", 16"x20" or 16"x60" Epson® UltraChrome HDX® Inkjet Prints.