Meet the Artist
Saturday, March 8
Trees Love Light
Photo Art from the San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park, and Beyond by Stephen Kane | Jan. – Apr.
The Helen Crocker Russell Library is pleased to present an exciting new exhibition by photographer Stephen Kane, Trees Love Light. In images ranging from landscapes to close-ups, realist to near-abstract, this exhibit celebrates trees in all stages of their life cycle.
Stephen (S.M. Kane Photography) has lived in San Francisco for nearly 17 years. As an Inner Sunset resident, he finds rich subject matter in the Botanical Garden and Golden Gate Park. "I have loved walking in and photographing the park at all times of day and in all types of weather – heavy fog, medium fog, lifting fog, and drifting fog. I've even been known to tolerate full sun," says Kane. "The current exhibit grows out of these walks, and out of a lifelong love of trees."
"Contrary to the old joke," Kane explains, "photographers and artists love trees not because they sit still, but because of the way light plays on, through and around them. At times, the light even seems to come from within. Light illuminates the texture and color of trees along with their leaves and flowers. Light shows the form and gesture born of soil and climate, wind and human intervention; it finds symmetry or lays bare disorder, and creates shadows that change through the day and the seasons. Light has helped thrust trees into our metaphors, legends, and dreams."
Trees in the exhibit appear both isolated and in landscapes, in partial or full detail. Describing his process, Kane says: "I photograph my subjects with a digital SLR camera, then work with and rediscover them using Photoshop and other digital art software, and finally, make my own giclee prints. For me, each step is integral to the overall finished work."
Both color and black-and-white works appear in the show. No single mode or tone dominates; it ranges from a sort of "Romantic realism" to formal or abstract exploration, and is only occasionally documentary. At times, in the service of seeing anew, the familiar may become unfamiliar. "In the end," says Kane, "my hope is to 'explain' to myself and viewers why I love trees – and my park back yard – so much, and in so doing, to intensify and invigorate our experience of the natural world."
San Francisco Botanical Garden Tree Collections
General Exhibit Information
The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture is recognized as one of the finest horticultural resources in the nation. Its 27,000-volume collection ranges from new gardening titles to antique herbals. The Library is open, free of charge, from 10am–4pm, every day except Tuesdays and major holidays.
Exhibitions of plant- and garden-related drawings, paintings, photographs and educational displays run for four-month periods. The artwork in our exhibitions are available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Library. For more information, call (415) 661-1316 ext. 403.