Archives for posts with tag: chesterman beach

Contemplating Water is a new gallery added to Sassamatt’s webpage. It features a series of photographs made on Chesterman Beach/Tofino, BC, focussing on water in its dynamic state.

Ever-moving water is ephemeral and transcendental. As it swirls, sputters, rises and falls, it returns to where it began. I look at water the way Alfred Steiglitz looks at clouds, contemplating how “to hold a moment, how to record something so completely, that all who see will relive an equivalent of what has been expressed.”

View Contemplating Water (here). 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

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/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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 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.

 christmas-card-design-vector-302653-26flat copy2

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

%d bloggers like this: