Here’s what photographer Elizabeth Fleming said on her blog Tethered about friend Stella Kalaw’s work. It meant a lot to Stella because she admires Elizabeth’s work so much :
- 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 complexity.