The word "landscape" usually conjures up images of wide-open fields or immense mountain peaks. But for a woman from Austin, Texas, they mean something much more intimate.
Beginning Sunday the Clear Sky Gallery, 3233 S. 13th St., will feature Ann Paterra's collection of photographs entitled "Interior Landscapes." The exhibit will run through May 30 and includes 28 pieces.
Ed Rumbaugh, owner of Clear Sky Gallery, said the exhibit presents an interesting way of viewing human interaction. Though there's nothing new about capturing human interaction on film, Rumbaugh said, the method Paterra uses is what makes her work so unique.
"What's different is that she's using like a landscape panoramic camera to shoot indoors," Rumbaugh said. "She goes into people's homes, and she doesn't stage them or place them anywhere, she lets people be themselves.
"She tries to capture people positioning themselves the way they want without arranging them."
Paterra said she got the idea for using a panoramic camera to shoot people because she couldn't capture everything she wanted with a regular camera.
"I found that I was really more interested with what was going on left to right rather than top to bottom," Paterra said.
Barbara Hagen, photography instructor at Southeast Community College and a longtime friend ofPaterra, said Paterra's method of using a panoramic camera to photograph intimate situations has a way of showing people "in a very personal way, rather than the traditional impersonal landscape."
She said personal setting is key to the exhibition's effect.
"The personal dynamics of the players in the photographs are very, very important," Hagen said.
She said at first glance the pictures can be mistaken as photojournalism, but upon further inspection there are definite differences.
She said photojournalism often initiates a knee-jerk response, while photography as a fine art deals more with the interaction between the viewer and the photo.
"The viewer's response should be much more subjective than to see it just as social commentary," Hagen said. "It's asking questions rather than answering them.
"It's about challenging the viewer, not entertaining."
Paterra said the exhibit is meant to question the viewer, not society.
"They're not meant to document any particular group of people, and they're not meant to make any kind of social or political statement at all," Paterra said.
Hagen said that with "Interior Lanscapes," Paterra is using pictures of other people to examine herself.
"The interior is a metaphor for her own exploration," Hagen said, "meaning she's looking inside herself."
Paterra said the pictures, though of other people, are almost like self- portraits because the people in the photo showed emotions Paterra herself had felt at one time. She said she hopes her photos will evoke similar emotions for the people in Nebraska who see her work.
"I'm real interested, just because of how I grew up, about families and how they interact," Paterra said. "It somehow helps me understand my own relationships.
"It has to do with my memory, but I think it also has to do with other people's memories as well."
The exhibit is free to the public and runs from Sunday to May 30. There is a reception for the artist on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and a gallery talk by the artist at noon on Monday. Both events are free.