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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: June 26, 2018

Mackworth Island gets its closeup in photo exhibit

Written by: Bob Keyes

Tim Greenway’s photography exhibition at Portland City Hall is a study in details. Greenway, who lives on Munjoy Hill and has made his reputation as an editorial and commercial photographer and educator, began spending extended moments on Mackworth Island just off the peninsula in Falmouth as a way to escape stress, to create time and space for himself and do photography without the expectation of an editor or client.

“I just needed to get away,” he said.

He found his sweet spot on the shores near the island’s granite pier, where the trees, rocks and water come together. He spent countless hours capturing thousands of micro-ecological moments and transforming those moments into images that burst with color and texture and transform the familiar into the abstract. Greenway is showing a dozen large-scale metal print images in “Mackworth Island Transformed: Rocks Reimagined,” opening July 3 and on view through Aug. 31 in the City Hall Rotunda. There’s a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. July 6.

Greenway’s photos explore the minutiae of the Mackworth shore. Imbued with color and a spirit of mystery, the photos feel otherworldly. His focus and perspective are so tight that cracks in a rock’s surface look like a fault line as seen from space. Deep red reflections on the water’s surface appear as a flowing lava, and exposed tree roots hanging from a rock’s edge might remind viewers of a dangling ladder. The photos are dynamic and unexpected, capturing moments of light and water and their interaction on the earth’s surface. Greenway is particularly interested in the texture of rocks when the run-off from the island meets the lapping tide. These photos are so alive, one can almost hear the tingling sound of that run-off.

“People know the landscape out there. It’s all very familiar,” he said. “I want people to see things they don’t normally see, and I hope people can enjoy it the way I enjoy it.”

Which is to say, he hopes people appreciate it by taking the time to notice details.

From his home on Munjoy Hill, Greenway can be at the pier in 30 minutes – a 10-minute drive and a 20-minute walk from the parking lot. It’s not unusual for him to spend several hours at a time, he said. Over the years, he’s shot about 10,000 photos out there and edited those down to 12 for this exhibition.

“Mackworth Island Transformed” is both a departure for Greenway, 42, and an extension of the work for which he is best known in the community. A Minnesotan with a background in photojournalism, Greenway came to Maine in 2003 to study at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. He loved Portland and decided to make it his home, working for various news outlets, including the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, and briefly running his own magazine. He teaches digital photography at the University of New England, where he works as an adjunct professor.

Greenway has shown his photographs in various group exhibitions, and “Mackworth Island Transformed” is his first solo exhibition of fine-art photography. “I am coming out of my shell,” he said. “It’s my artistic debut.”

Tim Greenway’s “Mackworth Island Transformed: Rocks Reimagined”

WHERE: Portland City Hall Rotunda
WHEN: July 3 to Aug. 31; reception from 5 to 8 p.m. July 6
ADMISSION: Free

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