Anne Berry’s work is quiet, thoughtful, elegant and beautiful. I am thrilled her work made the Critical Mass Top 50. What keeps me coming back is that connection we feel looking into the monkeys eyes, as well how they look back at us. I see our humanity, their captivity, and I question my guilt, my acceptance of how we treat these animals, this connection to our own humanness. While we might never know these animals without housing them in zoos, behind glass or cages, I can’t justify that existence. Who would I be if I lived behind glass everyday, in a box or a cage? What look would I have if someone placed a camera in my face. There is a sadness, and yet hope combined in this work. It is my hope that Anne’s beautiful images help to affect change, that one person becomes two, and that a movement expands to keep us from continuing to capturing and house one more animal.
Behind Glass refers both to the glass or boundaries of an enclosure and to the glass of the camera lens. Often I find myself gazing into the eyes of a monkey, his hand touching the glass wall that separates our worlds. The window works not only as a framing device but also to add atmosphere and narrative, left for the viewer to interpret. My photographs are about the beauty of animals but, more importantly, about their plight. The pictorial quality of these images softens the shock, but the punch is there in the eyes and melancholy expressions of the animals. Primates especially are able to remind people of the undeniable connection between man and animal, and this feeling evokes a memory of a time when man was part of nature. Sometimes I feel like Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott, watching a separate world through a glass lens, creating but not participating. I, too, am “half sick of shadows;” I feel a responsibility to take part, to contribute. These photographs should be a voice for the animals. I assist animal non-profits in three ways: by making photo books for them to use as they wish, by licensing images at no cost, and by producing awareness raising gallery exhibits and blog essays. My goal is to produce a book of this series, proceeds of which will benefit a primate or monkey sanctuary.
Anne Berry’s photographs have been exhibited internationally. She has received numerous awards, including Critical Mass 2012 Top 50, and she is represented by the Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston. Publications featuring Anne’s work include Shots Magazine, Photo District News, Silvershotz, The Portfolio Review, Esquire Russia, Lenscratch, CNN Photos, and Black & White. Anne attended Sweet Briar College (BA) and the University of Georgia (MA). Currently Anne is working on Behind Glass, a collection of images of primates in captivity.
For more of Anne Berry’s work, please log onto her website.