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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Christine Merchent

SPE Member since 2017
Member Chapter: Midwest

Ballerinas on the Green

Combining golf, which I live and breathe every day, with the art of photography and ballet is a dream come true.
It started with an idea. “What if I juxtaposed a ballerina against the vast expanse of a golf course?” I asked my husband what he thought of the concept. His animated response surprised me, “Do you know how much ballerinas have in common with golfers? The hours and hours of work that no one sees, just for one event. The abuse their bodies take. They make the movements look easy and natural but they aren’t, just like in golf.” I knew all that, I was just surprised he did.
Next I looked for inspiration. I studied the 21,000 images I had captured of the boys high school golf team that spring. Stories sprang to life before me. If the image was interesting from a golf perspective, I looked for ways to tie in a ballerina.
All of the images were captured at Purgatory Golf Club. The Noblesville High School boys golf team were the golfers, and local ballerinas provided the magic.
The project has taken on a life of its own. The body of work as a whole has a modern art, edgy feel. It is uplifting and intriguing. I would have loved to have captured more and told more stories, but I ran out of time before winter arrived. 
Three Masters
There were three disciplines that required technical excellence in this project, photography, golf and ballet. By honoring the esthetic needs of all three the storytelling and art was able to shine through.
As a result, a photographer looks at this body of work and sees great story telling and lovely art, a ballerina sees a lovely performance in an unconventional local, a golfer sees an intriguing and magical version of everyday life.
The masters don’t always agree. The poses a ballerina admires may not appeal to an artist, a scene that conjures emotion to a golfer may seem mundane to a ballerina, and images that are beautiful to an artist may seem abstract to a golfer. This body of work offers images that appeal to all three audiences, but some images may appeal to only one of the masters.

All Lined Up

Stretching Before the Round


Tee it up Sis

Morning Sprinklers

Delicately Tending the Flag

Gossamer Golfer

Playing in the Rain

Her Game is on Pointe

Moonlight Drive

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