In Vision – New Work by C.L. Kunst

Mom had it right.

When I was born my mother named me Cynthia Lea, which is an elegant and regal sounding set of names that I am only just now beginning to embrace. Now Lea is easy. Lea means shelter. Lea is an integral part of my Grandmother’s and my oldest daughter’s first name. But that uppity sounding first bit always seemed so far out of my reach.  Originally a reference to a Greek baby name, it literally means of Cynthus, and refers to the location of the birth of the Greek Goddess Artemis and the personification of the first phase of the moon. But modern definitions are more liberal and include ideas that relate to the moon’s more ethereal qualities such as its role as a mirror and reflectors and light in dark places.

When I was growing up I remember feeling intimidated by the big ideas that went with this name. Was this really me? Did this have anything to do with who I was meant to be? I didn’t feel particularly shiny or reflective, much less somehow related to any phase of some classical Greek goddess.  Turns out the answer is yes!!! I get so excited by light! Shining it, flashing it, catching it, teaching it how to dance funny, little flickers in dark places, whatever, just bring on the light! And I don’t think this is an accident either. My birthday comes right in front of the Spring Equinox and the sweet annual return of milder temperatures and longer days. I definitely experience my own personal quickening around this time of year.

March is when the phone starts ringing for portrait sessions again and the art shows, festivals and events for the summer start getting lined up.  So far this year has already been a major hustle-bustle with a pop-up show at a Blind Pig dinner in early February and this week  where I get ready for my latest show at The Circle Asheville that opens Saturday from 3-6.  I’ll be offering a bunch of new work as well as a few old favorites in a new way. Glass!! I’ve gotten together with a local printmaker who helping me create some gorgeous glass art tiles to go along with my other prints and photo art this year. Of course Pop was invaluable and helped me out by making some really cool stands for each tile so you can plunk it in the nearest window and let the sun (or the moon) do all the work backlighting it! They also make really pretty votive shades with a tea candle put on the stand behind the tile for your bookshelf or dining table.

This new body of work represents a jumping off point for me. After making what I call Radiants  for over 10 years I realized that what I’ve really been doing was picking up little pieces of flotsam and jetsam with my camera; bits of visual ephemera that might not mean much now but someday I felt I might find the puzzle this fits into. This year is the year I realized the scope of the puzzle and began to reassemble the pieces into a picture that made sense to me. After looking outward for a very long time I’m beginning to find the worth in looking in. So that’s In Vision, new looks at old works and a re-”in vision”-ing of their purpose in my bigger image. Come see.

In Vision

Show poster at The Circle March 14 – April 10


March 18 – The Day of Return

First thing Friday morning I am looking down the barrel of one seriously busy day, but maybe you don’t know I’m unstoppable.  I have 10 hours of photography schedule with my 9-5 gig, followed by the Neihborhood Fashion Shoot at the Circle Gallery and finishing out the night at the Grey Eagle for Southern Culture on the Skids with one of my BFFs solo.  The first part of the day was so fun even if it was work.  All of the kids I was working with that day kept wishing me Happy Birthday, I realized about half way through my co-worker Nicki had taped a sign up in front of my camera letting the kids know.  Thanks Nikki!  That and your sweet present and awesome attitude really made my day!

Trotted home from work lickety split and tried to catch up on 80+ BDay wishes on FB (Thanks again everybody!)  and get all my gear together to head up to the Circle Gallery for our Fashion Shoot.  The shoot was better than I could have ever hoped for!! There were so many wonderful people and clothes and models and designers and they were all just so much fun to be around and super to work with.  Truly amazing incarnations of originality in our local designers!!!  I built a complete web gallery of the Shoot so you can check out the details.  We were so lucky to have such sweet warm weather, phat afternoon light, and Christopher Mello’s West Asheville Sculpture Garden Gnomon to romp around in. What an incredibly special place – thank you Christopher for letting us in and being so accomodating! Personal favorites – BB Guns and Tonka Trucks.

We finished up 5 minutes early and then it was time to head to the Grey Eagle with Dana for our B-day whoopdy! We walked in just as the band was introduced and it was like pulling the rip cord on a chain saw, I was all revved up again!  Hey, somebody hand me a Turbodog!

I’ve got more than a few pictures of them too – you can see them here:

When I finally put the camera down at about 2am to start the download I’m surprised it didn’t have smoke coming out of the card slot.  But after thinking a little more I realized that this was the pace I used to keep weekly when we were back in DC before we ever knew about Asheville.  It was like waking up from a very long nap and realizing how much I love this level of work and intensity. Rejuvenating!

I want more!

And I’ll be getting it too!  I ‘m one of the offical photographers for ActionFest 2 at the Carolina  April 7-10 and I’ll also be doing some traveling to Nashville and Memphis to check on some old friends down there later this spring.  Sorry folks! It’s that sweet Asheville Mountain air, it’ll make you pull a “Sleeping Beauty” every time!  Now that I’ve re-awakened its time to put the pedal to the metal again!   So call, e-mail and come for a visit.

I’m ready for you, are you ready for me?

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