“The austere landscape at Lyonia is almost a Zen experience, with its pure white sand and sparse vegetation. At first I thought there was not a lot to photograph, because, as a whole, it looked more forbidding than enticing. But the more I returned to it, the more I saw. I worked with the changing light, weather, and seasons, finding beautiful details in the plants and terrain.” – Lee Dunkel
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Since 2009, Lee Dunkel has been photographing the Lyonia Preserve, a 360-acre joint project of Volusia County's Land Acquisition and Management Division and the Volusia County School Board to restore and maintain this scrub habitat in Deltona, Florida. Her photographs poetically bring out the intricate patterns, textures, and shapes that compose this unique and fragile ecosystem. Using traditional black-and-white film and gelatin silver printmaking methods, Lee Dunkel emphasizes the small details that may otherwise go unnoticed in this untamed, distinct Florida landscape.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
“I am attracted to black-and-white photography because of the abstract quality it lends to the image, making it something more than documentation... I took photographs, not with exact replication in mind, but rather 'seeing' through the lens what the images might look like once I could manipulate the prints in the darkroom. Each image is made using the whole negative, but the tonal quality is composed with a combination of photography, film development, and darkroom techniques." - Lee Dunkel
Lee Dunkel has been capturing the Florida landscape in her photographs since 1985 and has created over 10 extensive bodies of work, most notable of which are her series titled Shore Patterns, the St. Johns River Portfolio and Florida Etudes. Dunkel began her photographic education at Daytona State College (when it was Daytona Beach Community College) and also studied under the renowned photographers John Sexton and George Tice to master the art of traditional black and white darkroom printing. She has stayed true to this gelatin silver printing process and continues to print in this fashion today.
Her work is regularly featured in exhibitions throughout Florida and is held in many public and private collections, including the Southeast Museum of Photography and the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach. She has been the recipient of numerous artist awards and honors including the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship. More recently, she has published a retrospective book of her work titled: Nine Portfolios: 1985-2008 which is available for purchase on her website. For autographed copies, please contact the artist. She currently lives and works in Ormond Beach, Florida.
|ABOUT THE LYONIA PRESERVE
Located in Deltona, Florida, Lyonia Preserve is considered an "upland" or “scrub” landscape, meaning that it is high and dry with nutrient poor soil made up of white powdery fine sand. This ecosystem is unique to central Florida and is home to a host of plants specific to this area, such as the Sand Pine, Myrtle Oak, Sandhill Oak and Florida Rosemary. This ecosystem is also home to the Florida Scrub Jay, a bird unique to the state of Florida and currently on the endangered species list.
There are not many areas such as this left in Florida. Since 1994, restoration efforts have been made to remove overgrown sand pines and open up the understory, creating bare sand areas with low-growing vegetation preferred by scrub species. For more information about these restoration efforts please visit http://www.lyoniapreserve.com
All images are Untitled, from the series, Lyonia - A Florida Upland, 2009-2011.
Click here for more information about Lee Dunkel.
All photographs are Gelatin Silver Prints.
The Southeast Museum of Photography is a service of Daytona State College
1200 W. International Speedway Blvd. (Building 1200) Daytona Beach, FL, 32114, (386) 506-4475
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Exhibitions and programs at the Southeast Museum of Photography are supported in part by Daytona State College, Volusia ECHO and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on the Arts.
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