Easily Stills the Waves and Hushes the Winds in Their Blowing
About Alyssa Fortin
Alyssa Fortin’s extensive scope includes portrait, travel and fine art photography. Known for her intimate black and white portraits and vibrant color travel photographs, Fortin has over the past thirty years focused on capturing powerful images of the everyday lived experiences of those around her. Inspired by the natural, unfiltered beauty of the people and the world we live in, Fortin is a visual storyteller who documents the journey of her subjects, friends and their families from birth, through growth, aging, and even death. Exhilarating, tender, empowering, and sometimes haunting, her photos immortalize the most joyous, loving, hopeful, and at times heartbreaking moments of her subjects’ lives. Her work touches the souls of her subjects and viewers alike, creating timeless connections between image and life.
Fortin studied the art of black and white film photography while earning a BFA at the University of Florida and later a Master's Degree in Art Education at the University of Georgia. For several years following that she taught photography and fine arts. These courses included workshops in pinhole photography, advanced photography, 2-D art, 3-D art, drawing and painting, integrating current events, political and art history, curating group shows in locations such as The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Alyssa draws influence from American photographers Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Sally Mann, Annie Leibovitz, and New Zealand photographer Niki Boon. She also became inspired by a workshop with Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai in 2002 to develop her skills in film.
It is the combination of fragility and power in our planet and our bodies that inspired Fortin's current work. Three years ago she shifted her work into the production of large format museum quality fine art. Traveling along the New England coast, she shoots on the edge, exploring the female form in liminal spaces - where land and air meet water. Working with ballet dancers and yoga masters, she pushes her subjects to defy gravity, balance through sheer power and will, and then - give in and submerge. It is there, under the water with her dancers, that Fortin taps into something unique, offering a glimpse into another realm. To say that her work captures the female form, in all its strength and grace, as it glides, floats and balances, is to minimize her message. Through her unique visual storytelling in which she resurrects the lost heroines of classical and western tragedies, Fortin has thrown away the lens, pulled us in with her, to witness and experience of all things - hope.