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As part of Alternative Processes:  A Group Photography Show, I gave a visiting artist talk, along with  photographers Kim Sholly and Blake Smith, in the Vandiver Gallery of the Thrift Library at Anderson University on February 2, 2017. We had great attendance for the opening event of the spring semester.  The gallery was packed with students from the Department of Art and Design at Anderson, as well as a large number of interested students other departments.

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Alternative Processes is concerned with non-digital photographic processes, and most of the work in the exhibition was made using the historic 19th century wet plate collodion process, along with traditional black and white darkroom processes.

Maliasmark Rust and Ruin Reborn

In a recent post on Meliasmark Rust and Ruin Reborn, my studio at Taylors Mill was listed as one of the spots to visit during the upcoming First Friday arts evening in Greenville (May 3rd).  Click the link above for the text of the full blog post.

In researching artists whose practice combines photography and constructed landscapes, I found some interesting work by Vanessa Marsh.  Last May, she had a solo exhibition, Always Close But Never Touching,  at Ampersand International Arts in San Francisco.  One of her pieces from that exhibition was Incomplete Highway On-Ramp, Seattle, WA.

 

Incomplete Freeway On-Ramp, Seattle, WA

 

Installation View: Incomplete Freeway On-Ramp, Seattle, WA

 

Vanessa Marsh’s Artist Statement


It was in high school that I began to find my true artistic vision. It started with a basic photography class and my mom’s old Nikon E series camera. The next year I had my first car and would take long drives out onto the edges of the Seattle suburbs. Wandering through the damp richness of Washington State, I rediscovered a landscape I had grown up with; flooded fields and medians overgrown with blackberry bushes, evergreens dripping with water and rivers always at capacity. I found myself fearless with my camera, exploring defunct industrial sites, climbing past “no trespassing” signs, keeping my eye out for security guards and taking as many shots as I could. I’d let myself into abandoned houses decaying with mold and half heartedly boarded up, looking for the perfect pile of detritus to photograph; an open fridge in the backyard or a baby carriage overgrown with blackberry vines. These buildings were all on the edges of fields that within a few years would become Wal-Marts or a sea of cookie cutter houses, not yet torn down, but no longer functioning as they were originally intended. They were places where I shouldn’t have been but where there was no one left to tell me to get out.

The idea of spaces between meanings became a fascination for me whether regarding the physical landscape, in considering memory or in making art. I think about ways that my art can tell a truth and yet be rooted in imagination simultaneously. My practice of model building began as a means to create a certain kind of photograph, an image that was at once real and surreal. As I worked more with miniatures I realized that the experience of looking into a model was similar to the feeling of being in abandoned places: of being an unintended visitor in a place that is at once somewhere and nowhere.

The models are built referencing snap shots and many details are filled in from my own imagination. When I build the models I am thinking of the places I’ve explored on the outskirts of Seattle, places on the brink of evolution and extinction – between meanings.

Building the models is an attempt to fully embrace my own sentimentality of where I grew up; the home where I no longer live. The environment where I feel the most comfortable yet choose not to be. The models are about recreating something important again that has been deemed unusable and outdated. In building them I am creating on a miniature scale a part of my own history, exploring the ways in which memory and identity are tied not only to location but also to one’s own imagination.

For  an interview with Vanessa Marsh by Matthew Hughes Boyko:  Click Here


Sea Metal Moon No. 1

 

Paul Kenny’s Artist Statement

Seaworks

 

I have for many years made studio works using material gathered from the landscape, stones, shells, and driftwood etc. In common with many people, I have always brought home “treasures” from the sea pebbles, shells etc. They act as an “aide – memoir”, bringing the landscape into your home so a mere glimpse or touch might recall the feelings of being alone on a remote beach.

Realising that I (naturally) tended to bring back to the studio particularly beautiful objects to photograph, I began to make works out of increasingly insignificant material collected at random rather than highly selected. In 1999 I made a series of works called “A day at the beach” which were studio works made from (literally) a random handful of beach material collected after a walk on a beach, arranged and photographed in the studio.

Out of this work came the idea to find the most trivial and insignificant thing from which to make beautiful and thought provoking work. I started to bring sea water back from my trips to remote beaches and it took about four years to fully develop techniques where I can construct a negative made of sea water dried and crystallised in an organised manner on clear acetate or glass plated. They take many days to make, repeatedly applying drops of seawater and waiting for it to dry. I call them Seaworks.

 

Blue Cheswick Moon

 

 

Full Moon Over Mayo

 

 

Flying Over Colonsay