Green Lion Gallery is hosting “Beyond the Edges,” an online, solo exhibit of photographic works by Olga Merrill, through Jan. 29.
Olga Merrill describes herself as “a person who is not without mystery,” and the same can be said of her photographically-derived images. She says, seemingly playfully, that she hardly recognizes herself as a photographer. Instead, she uses photography as a tool to create an image of her vision, with a dreamy and indirect — indeed mysterious — relationship to external reality.
Some of her work clearly begins with representational photography of the world around her, but she transforms the images into the wonder of abstract pattern using techniques like intentional camera movement, multiple exposures and a carefully chosen color palette to reflect her vision, dreams and feelings. Much her current work, however, involves imagery that is simultaneously unabashedly abstract and intensely detailed and intimately linked to its photographic origins.
The Green Lion Gallery was proud to be the venue for Olga’s first one-person show in 2019 and is now equally proud and delighted to host an online exhibition of some of her newest work. The show, “Beyond the Edges,” opened at www.greenlionart.com on Nov. 28 and will be displayed through Jan. 29.
As a glimpse into her thoughts about the collection of images that make up the show, Olga offers a quote from Japanese author Haruki Murakami: “Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.”
Merrill was born in the far east of Russia and earned university degrees in both economics and law. Her father was an amateur photographer, and Olga has early memories of the smell of chemicals in his darkroom, but she didn’t take up photography herself, until, decades later, she moved to Maine and settled in Brunswick. In 2015, she began her career in photography and quickly pursued the abstraction that became her style. The results have been spectacular. Her work has been published in several digital photography magazines in the U.S. and in Europe. It has also been exhibited, and won awards, in galleries in Maine, Minnesota, New York in the United States, as well as in Malta, Italy, Hungary and Greece.