In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Alice steps through a mirror and into Wonderland, a strange and dreamlike place. For artist and photographer Rhoda Kassof-Isaac, the camera lens is the looking glass, as she takes a step into another reality.
When the camera is pointed at a mirror or even a shop window, the photographer sees the world reflected at odd angles. The recorded image may include unreflected objects, forming a composite of real and reflected. Photographing in the mirror, we see ourselves, or whatever falls onto the reflecting surface of the glass. What is reflected depends upon size, angle and light.
This combination of multiple images, reflections and angles allows photographers to explore alternate realities, just as Lewis Carroll did in his books.
After the camera records an image, the photographer can combine that with another, creating something entirely different, exploring in this way a different reality as well.
In Rhoda Kassof-Isaac’s photographs for an exhibit at Gallery 14, she begins with a completed image taken during her travels in foreign lands (she lived in Switzerland for 26 years), using these as settings for the different figures illustrated in Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass: Alice, the Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Red and White Queens, and the confused Knight and his horse. These figures are fit into the world that she sees in her mind and creates in her photographs.
In her photography, she says, there is often the discovery of an image which seems to have been created by something larger than herself, and she wonders at her fortune in capturing it. In other images, she may paint, alter, enhance, draw or add elements to the photograph until it satisfies her and speaks to her soul.