Dining Alone: In the Company of Solitude by Nancy Scherl
Updated: Mar 7, 2022
CaringMatters is excited to partner with Nancy A. Scherl Fine Art to promote a new book, Dining Alone in the Company of Solitude, published by Daylight Books and slated for a May 1st release. Ms. Scherl is generously donating 50% of the proceeds for books purchased through her website to CaringMatters. Ms. Scherl was drawn to support CaringMatters because so much of our work revolves around support for seniors to alleviate social isolation during times of illness, caregiving and grief.
"Although all of us were effected by the COVID-19 pandemic, I have a particular soft spot for the elderly," said Ms. Scherl. "My mother, who lived in an eldercare facility in New York City, was in her 90's during the pandemic. Though she was a trooper, the lockdown took a heavy toll on her. The programs that CaringMatters offers to older adults are wonderful and help combat the effect of social isolation on so many older adults, many just like my mom."
Dining Alone: In the Company of Solitude highlights the experience of being alone in public. She chose to use peopled restaurant interiors as a metaphor to explore the complexities of the subject of solitude. The subtle nuances of these lone diners visually define their experience. Dining Alone is a long-term project spanning three decades, culminating in 2020 with photographs taken during the COVID-19 pandemic when restaurants moved their diners to makeshift structures outdoors to avoid contagion. The humanistic photographs shine a light on the existential and complex aspects of dining alone which have been thrown into sharp relief by COVID-19.
Nancy Scherl is a fine art photographer based in New York City. Stylistically, Nancy emulates cinema verité, often posing her subjects, offering subtle direction, and asking them to “act out” what they experience when they’re in a specific setting. The setting is frequently enhanced with formal lighting to create a specific ambience. Nancy’s more candid portraits blur the boundaries between pictorial and street genres; she draws from Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment.” Her camerawork may include a predetermined background and sometimes controlled lighting, but she will capture her subjects more spontaneously, once they appear within her camera frame. Nancy refers to her reality-based narratives as being staged or partially staged realities. Read more about Nancy Scherl HERE.