Jacksonville photographer and gallerist Lee-Margaret Borland has been capturing images through her camera lens throughout her life, using photographs to “tell wonderful stories and special times,” as she puts it. An avid traveler, these “special times” include subjects around the world. From animals on land and underwater, to indigenous peoples; from iconic place markers to expansive vistas, Borland has amassed a photography collection of mind-blowing variety.
Her Avondale gallery, Through the Lens of Lee-Margaret Gallery, has much of her collection on view and feels like walking into the pages of National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, or the like. When approaching the large-format images there is an added delight — Borland’s pithy, witty titles expand the tale behind the subject and her experience with it, and illuminate her personality. Many leave viewers chuckling aloud.
Also indicative of her personality: When she is asked about the myriad photography awards she’s received over the years, she laughs and says, “Oh, no one wants to hear about that!” Suffice to say she has had an impressive and very successful career. Her show ribbons are displayed throughout her gallery, sprinkled amongst the photographs unobtrusively. Her work has also been published and is displayed in galleries, professional offices, retail stores, and residences as far-flung as Australia and Europe as well as in thirty-eight states.
Borland’s artistic goal is to share the excitement she experiences when she captures an image that is beautiful and unusual and touches her heart. “As I focus on a subject through my lens, I realize this is a small slice of life,” she says. “Some slices are sweet and some are bitter; some vibrant, others soft; some calm or chaotic, colorful or bland, large or tiny, complex or simple. My subjects are all different, and yet, they are all alike in that they represent a moment in time.”
She has a particular love affair with the Solomon Islands and the reefs of the Caribbean, which led her to study with internationally-recognized underwater photographer Christopher Newbert. Underwater is the only environment in which Borland uses extra lighting. Otherwise, she solely uses her SLR Digital Canon camera body with a variety of lenses and ambient light, getting creative with external filters, diffusers, and reflectors on site. She prints, mattes, and frames her limited editions in her gallery. “I am solely responsible for the entire creation of my work, from beginning to end,” she says. “I believe that it is the photographer with cameras and lenses that creates the image, not the computer.”
Borland’s travels have taken her to Africa, where she began experimenting with photographing faces, especially those of the young and elderly, and then to the Caribbean, the Orient, Europe, the Solomons and North and South America. Her love of nature, of “the colors and moments God gave us,” particularly expressed in gardens and flowers, is seen in photos from a lengthy list of specific international locales. New Zealand, Indonesia, Turkey, Austria, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Nepal, Patagonia, Peru are but a few of the places she has photographed. “To me, each image is a special event in life that I have been fortunate to capture and be allowed to share with others,” she says.
Fifteen three-by-four-foot framed images of Borland’s from fifteen different countries are currently on display on the second and third floors of the Jacksonville Public Library Main Library. They will be on view through January, 2018. Experience the world through Borland’s lens and be entertained and inspired. “However, one need not go far to find these moments,” she says. “Open your eyes and look, as they are everywhere!”
On display at JPL Main Library, Downtown, 303 N. Laura St.,
630-2665 though January 31, 2018.
Visit Through the Lens of Lee-Margaret Gallery at 4224 Herschel St., 387-8710, and at ThroughTheLensOfLee-Margaret.com.