This series of photographs invites the viewer into what Ponch Hawkes called the 'realm of glimpsing'. The term 'glimpse', originally derived from the word 'glimmer', refers to the visual information that is fleeting and superficial, like a shimmer of light reflecting off a moving surface. To glimpse something is to catch a partial view or passing impression in a world where nothing stands still. Ponch Hawkes has drawn on memories of these uncanny apparitions to compose a series of photographs that celebrates the mystery of life and looking.
In restaging these scenes, Ponch Hawkes has avoided making them appear like gritty documentary images, hastily snapped by a street photographer. Instead, she has composed them as poignant tableaus that float outside the time of our daily routine. Sometimes she even allows supernatural figures to lurk in the shadows, setting the glimpse adrift in the timeless darkness of dreams and myth.
In their ambiguity, these images resist the proposition that a photograph provides proof; in turn, they offer enigmatic glimpses that excite the imagination.
Stephen Zagala senior curator MGA