Archives for posts with tag: 4×5 negatives

I am writing this blog so I can learn to spell and understand pareidolia. In the 70s, I read an article in Scientific American that explained how the eye-brain constructed recognizable shapes from ambiguity. That information gave me insight into how visual art that compelled caused me to look again, and I was sure I would remember that word. I reached for that word many times, talking around it and hoped someone could fill in the gap in my knowledge. That gap was filled in conversation following one of my Facebook posts during  the  Black and White Photo challenge this September. Now in a time when access to this kind of information is only a few keystrokes away, I am able to fill in that gap.

Pareiolia explains why we see the man in the moon, dragons in clouds, faces (especially eyes) in tree bark and projected imagery in reflective surfaces. This rediscovery of this word and this phenomenon gives both an explanation for my fascination with abstract Lumen Print compositions and a context for my artist process. Artwork, music and literature that offer multiple valid readings have always attracted me;  my favourites continue to invite another layer of meaning. My Lumen Prints that render smaller ambiguous pareidoltric artifacts engage my viewers and often spark interesting conversation. I look again.

Bladderwrack and Rainwater (2010)

Bladderwrack and Rainwater (2010)

One of my most enduring compositions, Mother and Child, was an early starting point in my Lumen Print artist practice. When I look at this Lumen Print, I see a goat like figure and a playful calf nuzzling up affectionately to a protective figure, a mother to my way of looking at it; I want to see a Mother and Child, and a reach into the photograph for more imagery to complete that story. Others might see darkened outlines of familiar seaweed shapes: bladderwrack, sea lettuce and the potassium deposits made by sheets of Lamenaria left out in the rain. My early Lumen Print work was essentially creative botanical documentation. I discovered the X-Ray like marks in Lumen Prints  yield more information than in botanical drawings; these Lumen Print documents simultaneously photograph the interior and exterior of the specimen. When I freed these materials from their orthodox portraiture and used these materials in the markmaking process,  then landscapes and narratives emerged. Instead of Lamenaria and Bladderwrack resting on photosensitive surfaces for a portrait, they were telling stories.

Sea Shells and Rainwater (lumen lith printed from a handmade negative, 2010)

Sea Shells and Rainwater (lumen lith printed from a handmade negative, 2010)

Wanting to go beyond the discoveries of the botanists who were among the first to discover a photographic process for recording visual information in their notations, I turned to an exploration of the capacity of sheet film in Lumen Printing.  A 4 x 5 inch block of sheet film does not leave much space for composition, a challenge when I was composing organic material on photo paper that measured 16 x 20 inches. I was curious to find out how much detail sheet film would record for printing and projecting in large format. Sea Shells and Rainwater was my first handmade negative; I positioned a small handful of crushed seashells on sheet film and exposed it to an afternoon of hazy light. This negative was digitized and developed much the way I worked in an analogue darkroom: amplifying light and tonal values. I worked on this image until it came to life: when a pair of eyes appear and a life form took shape on a green colour field. In digital format, I am able to show X-Ray layers in much the same way they appear in analogue Lumen Prints.

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Recent Lumen Prints, both analogue and digital, tell pareidolic stories: Caribou posing for a portrait, momento mori in What Remains from gathering foliage in New York, possible life forms Among Cherry Blossoms, a portrait emerging from Chesterman Beach sea tangles. And more at Sassamatt Images.

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It’s art residency season. Working in classrooms adds another layer to my artist practice: ideas spark when I share my ideas, techniques and suggestions. Curious minds ask provocative questions. Busy hands show me how my own practice transforms in a shared creative process. Ideas go places I never would have imagined. Exhibition and celebration brings new ideas to move forward.There’s always much to show for these joyful moments in the classroom, and I long for studio time so I can go forward with new ideas and new work. 

Recently, I presented a  lumen prints workshop  at the ArtStarts Gallery  in celebration of BC Arts and Culture Week in conjunction with Botanimalogy—Expressions of Nature, an exhibition of lumen prints made during my residency at Kitsilano Secondary School. This exhibition of both analogue and digital lumen prints is on show through August at the ArtStarts Gallery at 808 Richards Street, open Tuesday through Saturday.

Check out my new work at two openings on Friday, 25 January. One of my New York street shots is in Bikes Inside, a group exhibition at Hot Art Wet City. Five of my abstracts are showing in Abstract Expressionism, a group exhibition at Photohaus Gallery.

Ninth Avenue Cyclist II is part of a series inspired by Diane Evans and Kristina Kreber; it is a photograph created across the street from B and H Photos in New York (Ninth Avenue and 34th Street). Current work showing in Abstract Expressionism is from a new series of work that continues my lumen printing experimentation; these hybrid prints made from handmade negatives on 4 x 5 sheet film that are digitized.

More exhibition and opening night details below.

Abstract Expressionism
Photohaus Gallery, 14 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver
January 25 – 14 February
Opening: 25 January, 7 – 10 pm
Gallery catalogue available
http://photohausgallery.com
Bikes Inside
Hot Art Wet City Pop Up Gallery, 752 East Broadway, Vancouver
25 January – 13 February
Opening: 25 January, 7 – 11 pm
http://hotartwetcity.com/bikes-inside/

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And, if you are at the  Queen Elizabeth Theatre before 18 February 2013, check out In Camera: the working dancer, an exhibition of my photographs and Alison Keenan’s paintings, a body of work made in cooperation with Ballet BC. It is showing in the Mezzanine Gallery and my ceramic sculptures on the top floor. Let me know what you think.

Winter: a season to dream about what will take flight this spring. Keep warm.

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Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/queenofmidnight  

Like Sassamatt Images on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SassamattImages

Learn more about Sassamatt Images http://about.me/phyllisSchwartz

And, if you are at the  Queen Elizabeth Theatre before 18 February 2013, check out my photographs showing in the Mezzanine Gallery and my sculptures on the top floor. Let me know what you think.

 

Poetic Abstractions: Seven Visions, gently curated by Phyllis Schwartz and Edward Peck, is an exhibition presenting seven approaches to abstraction with the intent of provoking questions and sparking dialogue. This exibition is a dialogue between seven visual artists who use experimental digital photographic processes to create poetic images. My work in this exhibition shows new work — images from handmade negatives made during my winter residency at Chesterman Beach.  A gallery catalogue produced for this exhibition contains an introduction followed by images from each participating artist.

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Thursday, 06 September 2012 (7 – 9 pm); Atrium Gallery, Place des Arts, Port Coquitlam

Artist Workshop: Sunday, 30 September 2012 (1:30 – 3:30 pm), Place des Arts, Port Coquitlam

http://www.placedesarts.ca/gallery/current-exhibitions.aspx

Hard Cover     http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3454436

eBook             http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/303079-poetic-abstractions

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Just sold: Wish You Were Here, the title photograph in my series on show in CARFAC-BC’s fundraiser and exhibition at W2 Media Cafe. The exhibition continues on line. The following are still available for purchase.  Buy more art and support local artists!

 http://wishyouwereherefundraiser.weebly.com/index.html

 http://wishyouwereherefundraiser.weebly.com/photography.html

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My current project: five small experimental images in a CARFAC pop-up fundraising show and sale. One day only: Friday, 22 June (10 AM – 7PM) in W2 Community Media Arts Gallery (above Woodward’s Atrium, #250 – 111 West Hastings). Reception with treats to eat: 5 – 7 PM. Good Prices/Good Cause. Bring your friends! See you there! http://wishyouwereherefundraiser.weebly.com/index.html

Preview http://wishyouwereherefundraiser.weebly.com/photography.html

Wish You Were Here: Friday, 22 June, 10 AM – 7PM, W2 Media Gallery, Woodwards, 111 W. Hastings. Reception 5 – 7 PM

 

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Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here  —  CARFAC BC’s inaugural membersl postcard exhibition and fundraising event, “Wish You Were Here” takes place on Friday June 22 at Woodward’s Atrium, 111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver from 10 AM – 6 PM. All work is 5 x 7 inches and priced at $50 with half of the cost going to CARFAC BC. Five of my photographs are included in this exhibition. Stand By: there may be an evening opening.

Lord Byng Community Show 2012

Lord Byng Community Show  — this event is near and dear to my heart. Every year, the Byng Arts Senior Students help curate an exhibition of work by artists in the community: neighbours, alumni, and staff. Every year the show gets better. Four of my lenticular photos will be in this exhibition. The show is up from June 1 – 15, and the gallery is open during school hours. Opening Reception: Thursday, 7 June (4 – 7 pm), 3939 West 16th Avenue (enter off Crown Street).

and by the way: i designed the e-vite for this year’s show / photographed the work for publication

Sketchbook 2012 World Tour — continues, residing in Oakland thru June 20th; after Oakland, the tour continues check out two of my books and tell me what you think. Sketchbook events are lotsa fun! Have a look at all of my work with Arthouse Co-op. http://www.arthousecoop.com/users/queenofmidnight/artwork

http://www.arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject2012

Check it out!

http://sassamatt.com/sass/hybrid/index.html

PreShrunk —   opens at Argyle Fine Art, Halifax, Friday/27 Jan/7PM. Five of my recent lumen lith prints (made from handmade 4×5 negatives) will be in this show of 50 artists from across Canada. Participating artists were asked to make work measuring 4” x 5” to be sold for $175.

http://www.argylefineart.com/

http://www.argylefineart.blogspot.com/

Sea Shells and Rainwater (lumen lith printed from a handmade negative, 2010)



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