© Stella Kalaw
I first learned of Stella Kalaw's work when she kindly left a comment on Tethered a few months ago, and I'm only just now getting around to posting about her, as is usually the case. I find her photographs hauntingly beautiful--the quality of light and color really blow me away. Family Spaces is my personal favorite from among her three galleries--each diptych is like its own short story, the kind that stays with you, the kind that's there when you close the page and turn out the bedside light. I felt this even before I looked at the second series on her website, entitled The House Remembered, which fittingly is a collaboration with writer Marianne Villanueva.
Combining word and image can be tricky--at its worst it can be like the copy of the Tao Te Ching I bought on amazon a while back, with its cheesy, typical black-and-white photos of birds in flight and silhouettes of trees against the sky. But I believe Kalaw and Villanueva mostly hit the right note here: lyrical words are paired with lyrical images, each informing the other, quietly taking their time to sink in. I suppose my favorite kind of photographs generally have this lyricism, revealing layers from within their quiet intimacy.
Kalaw also maintains a blog which you can see here.