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1927 Map of the Arboretum

A Walk in the Arboretum: Digital Photocollages by Amy Ragus

Spring has never failed me yet, digital photo collage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus
trees in spring

April 29-July 18, 2021

Amy Ragus brought her impressive background in photography to our current virtual exhibition. Using a collage method, she focuses primarily on New England landscapes. For the Arboretum show, Ragus gathered material on walks in the Arboretum between October 2019 and August 2020.

Her interest in depicting the experience of being surrounded by space, as she moves through the landscape, is evident in each of her digital photocollages; however, less obvious, but more potent, is how she continued her creative journey once COVID became the prevailing concern in early 2020.

From her first visits in 2019, when she was simply interested in taking in the Arboretum’s role as a public park and learning more about it as a unique outdoor museum, her focus suddenly shifted in spring 2020. Ragus noted that some times were tense as guidelines were first learned and adopted; yet in Ragus’s words, which echoed the words of other 2020-2021 exhibiting artists and thousands of our visitors, “The pandemic closed other parks in Massachusetts, but the Arboretum chose to stay open as a much needed sanctuary. A place to simply walk became vital.”

Nature sleeps and awakens, blooms and bears fruit. The pandemic could not change this.

Amy Ragus

Ragus’s photographic approach is to depict the experience of being surrounded by space as she moves through the landscape. To achieve this, she stands in one location shooting multiple frames that collectively depict an expanded viewpoint. As she merges the separate frames with Photoshop, some areas are smoothly continuous, while others show distinct rectangles. Her goal is to offer an experience of space, incorporating specific details and a general mood of the season.

Her closing image in the virtual series is titled “The earth above and the sky below” but she adds a sub-title of “The Triumph of Spring,” which is a message she wants to hold on to.

Amy Ragus has exhibited extensively throughout New England and beyond, and is the recipient of many prestigious grants, fellowships, and residencies. Her work is included in numerous public collections including Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Danforth Museum in Framingham, Columbia University, and the Boston Athenaeum.

Works are digital photocollages.

All rights of the images reside with the artist. For more information on making a copy, or reusing an image, please send your request to arbweb@arnarb.harvard.edu.

For information on the work itself, or to inquire about purchasing art, please also send your request to arbweb@arnarb.harvard.edu. We will put you in touch with the artist. Her website is www.amyragus.com. Her “News” section will have other materials and links related to this series.

A recent interview with The Woven Tale Press, including images of other work, can be viewed at: www.thewoventalepress.net/2021/02/15/photocollage-as-painting.

To best view this exhibition, hold your mouse on an image to see the small magnifier, then click to get the gallery.


landscape with trees and three persons
Tree Play, October 2019, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

Photo detail with trees, adult and two children
Tree Play (detail), digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

large tree with walkway round it and person
Enchanted Garden, October 2019, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

two persons under a large tree in fall
Enchanted Garden (detail), digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

meadow with water and trees, art snowflakes in sky
Fade to Gray, October 2019, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

bare trees in the landscape
The Larch Brothers, November 2019, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

bare trees and grass
Mind and Flight, November & October 2019, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

birch trees in winter
White Lines No Words, December 2019, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

trees in winter with snow in foreground
Dusk, January 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

people with dog on path through winter trees
Deep Dusk, January 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

two persons walking on a road by trees in winter
Just a Walk, March 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

photo of bare winter trees in a marsh
Meeting a Friend, March 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

people on road beside bare trees
Looking for Spring, March 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

person on path with trees and people in distance and forsythia
Pilgrimage to Yellow, April 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021, Amy Ragus

blooming trees in landscape
Sweeter Thoughts, April 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

altered photo of trees in spring
Spring has never failed me yet, May 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

child on scooter on road by spring trees
Sprite, May 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

person on bike on road through trees with flower in the sky
Turn My Head, May 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

Tree with leaves and vines surrounding it
Eden, August 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

several trees and low shrubs
Private Dance, August 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus

road with trees, sky with flower and bird
The earth above and sky below, May 2020, digital photocollage, copyright 2021 Amy Ragus