Thrills and Chills by Isa Ieshko

Issue 12

Amusement park rides are vehicles for enacting fantasies for both children and adults alike. They simulate flight, daring sea adventures, and encounters with other worldly creatures. From the moment we strap ourselves into our seats, we surrender ourselves to these giant machines and the physical release they provide. The experience combines elation with fear; thrills with chills.

These images explore the fantastic and sinister place these rides hold in my imagination. With some of these images, I suspend disbelief and embrace the underlying fantasies of these rides. With other images, I examine the tensions that exist between fantasy and reality. I am fascinated by the range of emotions—from anger to shock to disenchantment—that people exhibit in pursuit of the amusement these rides are supposed to provide.

I have created these images with a Holga camera to provide them with a vernacular feel and a sense of immediacy. They are printed deliberately dark to reflect the murky-realm that I envision these mechanical beasts inhabiting.

Prints from this series can purchased through the John Cleary Gallery in Houston, TX and the Carroll and Sons Art Gallery in Boston, MA. Prints from this series will be on display at the John Cleary Gallery booth at the AIPAD Photography Show that will be held at the Park Armory in NYC from March 18-21.

A solo show of these images will be exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA from April 8-May 9. Artist talk followed by reception at 6:15 PM on April 15.

"Thrills and Chills", a 32 page catalog consisting of images from this series and accompanying text, will be released on March 29, 2010. For details, visit Isa's web site.

Isa Leskho lives and works in Salem, MA.
To view more of Isa's work, please visit her website.

Images below Copyright Isa Leshko. All Rights Reserved.

  Swing Ride on the Big E 

Swing Ride on the Big E 

  The Wave 

The Wave 

  Girl on Tilt-a-Whirl, Coney Island, NY 

Girl on Tilt-a-Whirl, Coney Island, NY 

  Among the Trees 

Among the Trees 

  Disenchantment 

Disenchantment 

  The Claw, Topsfield Fair, MA 

The Claw, Topsfield Fair, MA 

  Coaster Spine 

Coaster Spine 

  Waiting 

Waiting 

  Dangling Legs 

Dangling Legs 

  Around the Bend 

Around the Bend 

  Bracing for the Fall 

Bracing for the Fall 

  Flying 

Flying 

  Pirate Ship, Topsfield Fair, MA 

Pirate Ship, Topsfield Fair, MA 

  Coaster at Dusk, Hershey Park, PA 

Coaster at Dusk, Hershey Park, PA 

  Point Pleasant, NJ #1 

Point Pleasant, NJ #1