Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chasing the Light

Here's a few pics from the meeting with my mentor Susan. In considering how the work functions - having been exposed to the properties of light and chemicals - it now doubles back on itself by using by using existing light to create a constantly changing view/piece.

These are all cyanotypes that have undergone destruction and distressing of the paper. They are printed on watercolor paper and coated with cyanotype then exposed with various images to create traces of light and dark. The key words here are deny, destruction, and deterioration.

I began by denying the representational image, the traditional idea of what a photograph is, the assumption of viewing something precious/beautiful, the flat plane of the photograph, and the machine precision of current reproductions. Here chance has been allowed to play an integral part. In rinsing the pieces, I have allowed them to take on shapes as they lay drying on various bushes in the yard.

In the various readings I have been doing and in my thinking after each reading, I began to think of photographs not of recording time so much as a deterioration of a memory. Death, destruction seem to me to be key elements of the "other" side of what a photograph is. Not only does the physical photograph deteriorate over time but our memories and connections with that image change and collapse over time. So I set out to emphasize that through the destruction of the paper. I also wanted to foreground how we see so many photographs in a slick glossy or matte presentation on a beautiful pristine surface.

Starting the next phase are these pieces. Here they are shown in their beginning stages. After they are sufficiently roughed up they will be coated in cyanotype and laid out to process under the sun (if the sun comes out again).
I hope it quits raining soon (although we really needed the moisture) so I can get a fire going.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Both Light and Dark

The work that I'm doing is about "seeing" and denying the expectations of the photograph. What is a photograph? What makes is photography? We see so many visual images today that many of us are unable to really look anymore. There is also the whole other discourse today about representation in photography.

Here is the shell at the beginning. A cyanotype on aquarella water color paper

Here is the shell after. I wanted to open it up to create a fragile skin that references decay, destruction, and change. Hopefully you will take away a sense of the use of light both in the process that created this and how it interacts with the piece as it now exists. Also I have eliminated the traditional flat wall hanging orientation.

My mentor Susan has had a lot of good questions and ideas so hopefully (cross your fingers) this will not fall like a lead balloon! (ha ha funny reference!)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Getting set up

I've tried to give a little more insight into the process I'm going through to make these images. Here is a piece of Araquelle Watercolor paper that I have scratched with a kitchen knife.
The cuts are randomly placed and don't go all the way through.
I also laid strips of photographic paper on Kraft paper. This is the heavier weight Kraft paper. I haven't been seeing this around as much as the thinner paper which is more prone to tearing when soaked.
After letting it dry I hope to coat in cyanotype.
Next I have to look through several images to create more paper negatives. I have been working through each image more slowly this semester to think about what I want to place as image, how I want to create it, how I want it to read, and what I want it to say. That doesn't say that everything will work out exactly the way I envision but I'm trying to allow some chance with a lot of thought.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Fruits of Summer ......

What I've been working on this summer has to do with the process of sunlight on paper. I've included a few of the pieces that I've done and I'm posting a few more. After meeting with my mentor, I'm putting some of these pieces into a "digital studio" where I can study them and figure out ways to do 'more'. She had a very interesting story about Pablo Picasso using photographs of his work throughout all the stages to help him decipher and fine tune his work. I've also got a few more artists to look up, some I recognize the name and others are new. So there's a lot to do.......
Here's the front view.  This piece is made of several layers and the papers include light weight Kraft paper and tissue paper. I tried to print digitally and it kept jamming the printer so I figured I'd see what it looked like and if it would take the washing to make a cyanotype. It is very much about destruction.
I like how this happened into a shell. I was washing it out and then left it to dry over some plants outside. I have been playing with the idea of what a photograph means to me and the idea of liberating the photograph off the wall. That means a question as to how it would 'stand or sit'.

This again was laid on the bushes to dry and as it began to curl I liked the position and way it was folding and only helped it a little.
                                                                   Landscape 1
To me these are interesting enough but not a finished work. I am going to see if I can find that certain something that makes it 'finished'!