STATEMENT about this series
AN ATMOSPHERE OF WATER AND DUST
Sun stain on blanket. Each particle of light has traveled from the sun to my feet. How can something so small have made it so far? Up close, the stream of photons would look like a meteor shower. My feet play with it. The vertigo of scale (the space between a photon and me and a star) is a foretaste of death.
~Hernan Diaz, from Truth
We are surrounded by the actions, reactions, and interactions of water and dust, tangibly and intangibly, visibly and invisibly, spanning the distance between a star and a particle of pollen resting on the surface of water. Water and dust are our atmosphere, our weather, and our crisis.
That range of space and time makes our private lives and our worries the size of a hair on the lip of a gnat.
This series of work spanning several years originated from rough photographs I have taken of rivers at different seasons and circumstances: during winter freeze when the patterns in the ice were mesmerizing; during floods when the water was palpably raging; and during calmer, quieter days when I was sculling on the river. The subject was the river and—in essence—the variations of water and dust changing from moment to moment with the river’s flow and climatic change. I transformed those raw snapshots to become visual spaces that aren’t just the thing photographed, but reference—at once—the tiniest speck on earth and the expansive sky and universe. Not one thing isolated in a moment in time, but many things all at once existing simultaneously in the same image, alive in the multiplicity of meanings and possibilities, connected and responding to threat and change.
A WORD ON TECHNIQUE
I’m often asked about how this work was created. Are they photographs? Digital prints? The work is neither, but incorporates something of both in its process. Many of the images in these prints begin as raw photographs that are transformed through Photoshop and drawing. The process of creating the plate is closer to darkroom photography, involving a film, the image, and UV light.
What you are looking at on the wall are, in the simplest terms, etchings. These photopolymer etchings are works of art created from a rigid metal and polymer plate on which an image has been incised and then printed, by hand, with oil-based ink onto dampened paper with an etching press.