Landscape and Transformation: Photographs of Doha, Qatar

September 9, 2013

Works by Kristin Giordano at Kittredge Gallery

Aug. 26–Sept. 28

TACOMA, Wash. Kittredge Gallery reopens for the new academic year with an exhibition of photographs that are meditations on space, place, and the poetics of change. From 2008 to 2010, photographer Kristin Giordano lived and worked in Doha, Qatar, on the Arabian Peninsula. Fascinated by the rapid, and sometimes drastic, transformations driven by the country’s new wealth from its oil reserves, she began documenting the ever-changing environment.

The images primarily were made using a vintage twin-lens reflex camera and medium format film. Giordano notes of this work: “In 2008, upon my arrival in Qatar, I was struck by the strangeness of the landscape, the emptiness of the plazas, the rubble-strewn wastelands that lay between one shopping mall and the next. I began to explore the places where the construction ends, the places in between. Much of the city looks like a ghost town … In vacant lots are the ruins of half-completed projects. I was fascinated by the sense of flux, the way the ruins and the new construction underway created a sense of timelessness, a city at once rising and falling.”

The exhibition includes images from three different series: Landscape and Transformation, large black-and-white cityscapes; Palace, color images of the interiors of abandoned palaces; and Stories of the Desert, images taken with a pinhole camera and exploring the concept of djinn or genies, supernatural beings prominent in Arab folklore.

Kristin Giordano received her B.F.A. from New York University in 1993, and her M.F.A. from Goddard College, in Vermont, in 2010. Her work has been featured on book covers and in calendars, as well as in various publications, including Harvard Design Magazine, Phoenix New Times, Woodstock Quarterly, The Missing Fez journal, Anthropology Today, and Christian Science Monitor.

She hasexhibited work at the Tuscon Museum of Contemporary Art, Metroform Ltd. and other Tuscon venues, as well as the Helm and Fulcrum galleries and Collins Library at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Her work can be found in numerous public and private collections including Photographic Center Northwest.  She has been the recipient of a project grant from Qatar University (2008), a Print Sponsorship award from Photographic Center Northwest (2011) and a Tacoma Artist Initiative Project Grant (2011). Her recent series Landscape and Transformation: Photographs of Doha, Qatar 2008-2010 was selected as a finalist in PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass portfolio contest, and a selection of her photographs was recently featured in the journal Guernica in September 2012.

On view in the Small Gallery is an exhibition of wood engravings by Paul Landacre. Landacre (born in Columbus, Ohio, 1893; died in Los Angeles, Calif., 1963) was an author-illustrator, printmaker, and teacher. In particular he was a master of the precise art of wood engraving, which he taught himself. He is considered America’s pre-eminent wood engraver of the first half of the 20th century.

A public reception for these exhibitions will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the gallery. This reception is free and open to the public; Kristin Giordano will be attending. A gallery talk by Kristin Giordano will be scheduled during the run of the exhibition.

Kittredge Gallery serves as a teaching tool for the art department and a cultural resource for both the university and the community at large, exhibiting work by noted regional and national artists. Exhibits and talks are free and open to the public. Please note the gallery will be open limited hours during the week of Aug. 26 to Aug. 31, from 10 a.m. to noon, and from 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The gallery will resume its regular hours once classes start on Sept. 3. The gallery will be closed Monday, Sept. 2 for the Labor Day holiday.

Opening Reception:
Aug. 28, 5 to 7 p.m.
, Kittredge Gallery

Gallery Location: University of Puget Sound, N. 15th St. at N. Lawrence St., Tacoma, WA
Directions and Map:
Regular Hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Mon.–Fri.; noon–5 p.m., Saturday 

PRESS PHOTOS are available at