Poe-Inspired, Spooky Photography Show At PhotoSynthesis

Halloween spooky photography show at PhotoSynthesis in Manchester

The Halloween exhibit at PhotoSynthesis Gallery in Manchester is titled "A Mystery and a Dream," a line from Edgar Allan Poe's poem "Imitation." Another line from that poem can describe many of the works in the show: "I say that dream was fraught with a wild, and waking thought of beings that have been, which my spirit hath not seen." The juried exhibit is a delve into the world of the bizarre, the creepy, the nightmare-inducing.

Both color and black and white photos are in the show. Two color standouts are "Figure on Swing" by JP Terlizzi, which is just that, a ghostly figure of a man sitting on a swing, that might start rumors about that playground; and "Incubus #2" by Bill Hughes, a blurry image of a man in a stairwell. Is he running from something scary? Is he the scary one?

Still, everyone knows that black and white is where the spooky is. Those photos rule the show. Ashley Whitt's "Shrouded in Lace" shows two young girls with lace sheets over their heads, standing in a lonely wood. Brett Henrikson's "Chaotis Forms No. 1" is a hexagon-shaped, six-part study of a pair of slender, long-fingered hands in witchy poses. "Planchette" by Nathan Lewis shows four hands touching a Ouija board playing piece. "Growing Pains II" by Julie Hamel looks painful, an image of a little girl with a twig pierced through her cheek.

Some of the photos ask questions they can't answer. "Dark Energy" by Steve Veilleux and "The Clearing" by James Rohan show lone men in shadowy circumstances. Who are these men? Where are they going? Is it in the real world? Kristy Joyce's surreal image of a person in a rabbit suit surrounded by three people in animal masks makes one wonder who the bad guy is here, if there is one. "Xs and Os: Dreamtime" by Marilyn Szabo is a "Blair Witch"-y vision of vandalized trees. Who would do this and why?

The funniest piece is Christian Bernal's "Sexual Tourism on LV-426," a strange visual of four astronauts in a landscape with mountains, an amusement park, a diner, and a huge coil of tubing. Are they Earthlings in space? Are they aliens on Earth? Who knows? If that question could be answered, it wouldn't be "a mystery and a dream."

"A MYSTERY AND A DREAM" will be at PhotoSynthesis, 136 1/2 Pine St. in Manchester, until Oct. 31. photosynthesisct.com.

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