Imaginarium exhibition

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PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

Identical twins becoming pregnant at the exact same time without planning could be called a simple coincidence. But Ann Worthy Stephenson prefers to think of it as Synchronicity.

That is the title of her colour photograph depicting two pregnant, identical twins curled up naked together in a huge bird’s nest.

It is an extraordinarily tender image, which reflects the wonderfully creative eye and skill of the photographer.

Synchronicity is one of 28 photographs on show at Ann’s first solo exhibition, “The Imaginarium of Ann Worthy Stephenson” at Art on the Quay in the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre. The exhibition opened last Thursday on September 8 and ends on Wednesday October 19.

Ann was born in Texas but now lives at Kairaki Beach, near Kaiapoi, with her husband Tim Stephenson and their two cats. She runs a boutique portrait studio, PhotoWorthy Images, specialising in unique and personalised photos of children, pregnancy, new borns, families and pets.

Her love of photography developed from an interest in ocean diving and wanting to record what she had seen during her underwater adventures.

Many of the photographs in her exhibition have been taken underwater. “Underwater Beauty” is a striking example. The vibrant colours of this photograph and the intense stare of its subject, a young woman wearing a purple dress and a long, blood-red tulle scarf, are mesmerising.

The beautiful time-lapse compilation photograph of a rose in a vase of water taken to show the “living to dying cycle” is equally transfixing.

“I set up a rose and photographed it every day for a week,” Ann said.

“Chilly chili” is another example of how Ann’s creative eye can turn something unexpected into a memorable image.

The photograph depicts a block of ice with a red chili popping out of the top in front of a black background.

“Going into the freezer this chili was completely immersed in water, but the process of freezing completely pushed the chili up and out. A surprise but I liked it,” Ann said.

Another surprise resulted in her photo of “Five Curious Cows”, taken when Ann was photographing a flower in a paddock.

“When I looked up these five cows were staring at me,” she said.