June 12, 2018
Shawn Heinrichs in the studio with framed works ready to be delivered to the Southampton Arts Center. (image courtesy of the artist)
Shawn Heinrichs is an artist with a mission. The founder of Blue Sphere Media is a world-renowned photographer, environmentalist, and activist who's using his talent to bring attention to the crisis facing our oceans and marine life. He chose Frames and Stretchers for his solo exhibition, Light on Shadow, at the Southampton Arts Center on Long Island because he was seeking a framer who could provide ethically sourced wood frames for his photos. Our partner, Vermont Hardwoods, sources sustainably harvested lumber that does not contribute to deforestation. This is important to us and was essential to our collaboration with Shawn. We designed gorgeous black maple hardwood floater frames to showcase his powerful, beautiful and sometimes disturbing images.
Shawn and his assistant with Erick in the studio reviewing prints
Heinrichs is an Emmy award-winning cinematographer and documentary filmmaker. The exhibition, curated by Matthew Hockley Smith, juxtaposes the powerful beauty of the natural world with illustrations of the industry and slaughter that sea creatures are used for and subjected to. Heinrichs says, “Art is my passion, conservation is my purpose, and for me the two are inseparable. I have found art is the most powerful tool I can contribute to help protect the ocean’s most threatened species and habitats.” *
The exhibition installed at the Southampton Arts Center (image courtesy of the artist and Southampton Arts Center)
Having Heinrichs visit the Frames and Stretchers studio offered us the opportunity to get a glimpse into the artist's process. Shawn explained how a breathtaking image of a whale and calf was achieved by putting himself in danger of being struck by the mammoth creature's bone-crushing tail. Another image, of a column of rays that all seem to be looking at the camera, came after several nights in a row of diving and waiting for just the right moment during the creature's nocturnal swim. Apart from his diving experiences Heinrichs continually puts himself at risk, covertly photographing scenes in plants where things such as shark fins are processed. This true adventurer is hoping to make a difference before its too late and Frames and Stretchers is proud to be a part of this project!
* quote courtesy, Southampton Art Center