Photography by Astrid Reischwitz & David Zapatka

Stories From the Kitchen Table

Astrid Reischwitz stitches the past, present and future together in her series of photographs titled Stories From the Kitchen Table. Each image combines a narrative motif from the family farm in rural Germany capturing a fading way of life – the potato harvest, hand embroidered linens and clothing, clotheslines and farmhouse sinks – with her retelling of the tales she heard at the kitchen table, the heart of family and village life, in composite photographs. Textiles are the history books of the women in the family and reflect the nuances of their lives. Sturdy work aprons live a separate life from the finely embroidered holiday apron; finely stitched linens of local forget-me-nots still bright white and vibrant blue imply treasured handwork, and ceremonial crowns reserved for women are discovered in old trunks. In some images, Astrid includes her daughter or herself, extending the female lineage embedded in the farm into modern life creating a sharp visual contrast of the past and present. Using the material culture of family life, family photographs, and her visual storytelling skills, Reischwitz builds a visual world of memory, place and home.

Astrid has participated in solo and juried group exhibitions throughout the United States. Her works have been published extensively in print and online. A graduate of the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany, with a PhD in chemistry, Reischwitz began her study of photography at the International Center of Photography in New York soon after moving to the United States. After relocating to the Boston area she continued her studies at the New England School of Photography, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, DeCordova Museum School, and Photography Atelier at Lesley University and Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester MA. She also holds a certificate in Arts Administration from New York University.

Stars & Lights

David Zapatka presents selections from his project Stars & Lights. In October 2013, he began a still photography project capturing lighthouses in all six New England states as well as those in New York and New Jersey. The seed for this project was planted around 2010 sitting on his boat off Dutch Island in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. The lighthouse there had just been renovated and it looked beautiful under the stars at night. At the time, it was difficult for him to gain access to the island but by summer 2013 he purchased an inflatable boat allowing him to navigate shallow water and rocks. Since then David has photographed all the Rhode Island lighthouses on the darkest of dark nights during the monthly new moon phase, with temperatures as low as 8°F. These nightscapes, many shot from the water using David’s custom-made 20-foot tripod, present a view not widely seen before. David shoots year-round, working in solitude with only the sound of the shutter interrupting the quiet and the dark.

To date, David has managed extensive research, logistics, and gained cooperation from Coast Guard authorities, local harbormasters, and private landowners to gain access to well over 100 lighthouses, many only accessible by boat. The images are captured in-camera from an “old-school” intent, with minimal digital post-production, using small LED lights, flashlights, and the light from the stars to create the best image. The Stars & Lights project has taken on a life of its own and resulted in a greater appreciation of lighthouses and nighttime photography. At times the work has been difficult, but the motivation is to capture as many working lighthouses before they are darkened forever. Look for David’s first Stars & Lights photography book slated for a Summer 2018 release.

David Zapatka is a Rhode Island native, veteran freelance network television cameraman, and director of photography. He was awarded two Sports Emmys for his contributions to NBC’s coverage of the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010. David is involved in several civic efforts and serves on local boards that include the South County Tourism Council as well as Camp Surefire, a summer camp for children with Type 1 diabetes. He is an adjunct instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Film/Animation/Video department and is a juried member of the Wickford Art Association. He lives near Wickford with his wife Lisa.

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