Courtney Johnson: Light Lure


“Sunset Beach Fishing Pier,” 2012, carbon pigment print from underwater pinhole camera.


Candela Books + Gallery is excited to present Courtney Johnson’s Light Lure.

Light Lure consists of large-scale underwater pinhole photographs made at each of the 19 fishing piers along the North Carolina coast. Her handmade pinhole cameras were constructed with cookie tins, fishing line and weights, and waterproof tape then submerged into the Atlantic Ocean. The resulting images are wildly colorful, often painterly and always enigmatic; as easily a representation of cellular biology or deep space as the underwater environ it documents. By highlighting both the science and mystery inherent in photography, as well as the vast unknowable waters of this earth, these photographs ignite the imagination.

Johnson is Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She specializes in photographic alternative processes and is one of the leading scholars on the cliché-verre technique. Johnson’s work has been featured in the 4th International Biennale of Photography: Fotográfica Bogotá 2011 and is collected among private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Tuanku Fauziah Museum and Gallery, USM, Penang, Malaysia; Lowe Art Museum, Miami, Florida; Presidential Penthouse, New York University; and Fotomuseo, The National Museum of Photography in Bogotá, Colombia.

The Underwater Pinhole Photographs of North Carolina Piers was generously supported by a Charles L. Cahill Research Award.

A preview reception and artist talk will take place Thursday, September 5th, 5-8pm. The exhibition will open to the public Friday, September 6th, 5-9pm.