Amanda Smith is a CPA. Amanda Smith is a photographer in little Johnson City Texas. Her photography is simultaneously enigmatic, wistful and accessibly infused with an East Texas aesthetic.
Nederland sits just west of Louisiana. It was founded by Dutch settlers in the late 1800's. The town has a windmill. I would imagine that most folks that knew Amanda as the clarinet player in the Bulldog band would both marvel at and puzzle over her photographs. She seemed an accountant.
Art sneaks up on those of us with dominate right brains. There are some of left brain predominance that sneak up on art. Amanda methodically stalked art after calmly balancing ledgers and blithely reviewing tax forms. There is nothing of the familiar creative volcano in her. One does not think of Frida or Madonna in her presence.
Photography has always been the second cousin or step-daughter in the fine art world, with the few obvious exceptions. However, it can be as transcendent and emotionally evocative as any painting or sculpture. Amanda's images can simultaneously evoke ghosts and childhood, the smell or movement of a lost Grandmother and a cherished, forgotten adolescent prank. A walk through the Central Texas woodlands of mesquite, persimmon, juniper and scrub oak with Amanda becomes piney, dense -- Yoknapatawphaian. Faulkner and East Texas flash in her photos; antidotes to hardscrabble limestone and prickly pear. Our subconscious is made of home.
We all are spun of visions -- most in dreams, a few upon waking.
"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision." Salvador Dali and Amanda Smith would not be comfortable at lunch...maybe they would. Art, after all, is truly about inner visions and transcendence.
More of Amanda's work can be seen at: