New alt_space exhibition in May April 15 2021

Mystery of Waters

May 1 - June 12, 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 1, 4-7 PM
Artists Talk: Friday, May 7, 11 AM

Erika Masterson
Image: Erika Masterson, To the Depths, photograph on acrylic, 20 x 25 inches

About the Exhibition

For her inaugural alt_space exhibition at Arts on Douglas, Erika Masterson presents Mystery of Waters, an exhibition of photographs depicting ethereal underwater worlds created by digitally blending multiple images into each piece. 
The inspiration for this exhibition came from many sources. On one hand, Masterson is paying homage to her father: a sailor and a captain who “longed for the solace of the sea.”  His love of the water had a strong influence on Erika as a child, and connections to water and the natural world continue to inspire her, even making recurring appearances in her dreams.
Masterson also has a background in portraiture. When she was given underwater housing for her camera, it was a serendipitous gift that allowed her to explore this subject matter from a fresh perspective. Using the computer, Masterson imaginatively combined these underwater portraits with nautical props to create each composited scene.  The resulting photographs hint at a narrative while retaining a sense of mystery and wonder. The piece titled Nebula suggests a youthful whimsy and play, while other pieces, such as To the Depths, possess more enigmatic qualities.  Also central to this series is an underlying theme of navigating through open waters as a metaphor for navigating through one’s path in life. As such, Masterson has included still-life photographs of nautical navigational tools and accessories to emphasize this association.
As a whole, Masterson’s hauntingly beautiful photographs can evoke a range of emotions and interpretations. The work may hint at mythical stories and legends of the sea for some while conjuring personal or spiritual associations for others.  Masterson purposely leaves room for viewers to come to their own conclusions based on their own experiences and associations, concluding, “It is my hope to evoke an awareness of one’s own journey and to unveil the ethereal beauty of our souls, at the deepest level, to inspire the viewer to look deeper into ones-self to make quiet connections."

About the Artist
After receiving her degree in photography from the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1990, Erika Masterson started a commercial portrait photographer business that she has successfully run for the past 21 years in both California and Florida. Recently, Erika has expanded her fine art practice and her award-winning work has been featured in many exhibitions. Amongst her many accomplishments, her images have been published in magazines such as Black and White Magazine, Silvershotz Magazine, Shots Magazine, 5x5 Magazine, Victoria Magazine, Bella Grace Magazine, Raine, Shadow & Light, and In-Style Magazine. In 2019, she won a portfolio competition, and her series Tangled Up in Beauty was featured in a solo exhibition at Soho Photo Gallery in New York. Erika’s images are also being sold around the world on greeting cards with Palm Press. She lives in Satellite Beach, Florida with her husband and their four children who are often seen in her creative work.


Erika Masterson

Erika Masterson, Nebula, photograph on acrylic, 20 x 25 inches