ALUMINATURE is an exhibition that featured recent and current work, using the natural environment as a subject while incorporating aluminum as a substrate. In my art practice, I reference the photographic past in my present explorations with the landscape. Identity, my connection with the natural environment, nostalgia, and an obsession with symbolism are all present in this exhibition.
Earliest works from Alt-Country and ATTEMPTING UTOPIA, romanticize the unknown in both near and far away lands through dye sublimation printing onto clear aluminum. The raw surface comes to life under proper lighting and changes as one moves around it, representing the inevitable while instilling the inability to look away.
LUMINIFEROUS: ADVENTURES IN METAL follows from desire to continue working with a reflective surface while maintaining a hands-on approach in processing digital imagery through the use of digital image transfers. Using extra heavy duty aluminum foil purposefully distressed in a dishwasher, images are transferred onto large custom-made substrates that reference photographic plates used in creating tintypes, another 19th century process of direct positives on thin sheets of metal.
phyto- + -graphydiscards the lens entirely and documents procured plant specimens without a camera when aging aluminum plates with a slow development, solar cooking process. The work references both photograms of botanical specimens used as scientific illustrations and visions from the collective unconscious.
The evidence that people are drawn to shiny things is all around us: from shimmery advertisements in magazines and automobiles ads to glimmering gold iPhones. The use of aluminum purposefully attracts the viewer, inviting their engagement to the phenomena of the natural world, with the hope that appreciation of the work ultimately translates to the appreciation and protection of the natural environment.
ALUMINATURE was a featured exhibition in the 2017 Louisville Photo Biennial, a regional festival occurring in over 60 venues throughout Louisville, Lexington and Southern Indiana celebrating artistic excellence in this rich and diverse medium. The Photo Biennial represents a cooperative effort among local museums, galleries, universities and other public venues to give viewers the opportunity to learn about and to appreciate photography.
As a visiting artist I also taught a digital image transfer workshop with the students in Jose Bentancourts‘ Experimental Photography Class. I introduced the class to alcohol gel transfers and DASS supersauce transfers to wood, metal foils and glass.
I like to encourage students to bring in substrates of their choice for transfers images onto as shown in the above photograph.
You know you’re doing something right when you can generate excitement in sharing your process! And it was such a pleasure to get students excited about image transfer. A lot of great results came from the workshop as you can see below.
In addition to exhibiting and teaching, I was also lecturing…three lectures to be exact.
One lecture was to Jose Betancourts‘ Documentary Photography class. This talk was very detailed specific and entirely about my involvement with the Haitian Art Company and the multiple trips (one of which was 2 months!!) I made to Haiti during my 7 years of service to the gallery in Key West. As one would expect, this experience had an enormous influence on my life as artist and creative professional.
The business gave me unique access to Haitian artists and allowed me to experience the culture in a way that is unavailable to the average person. The photographs I have taken in Haiti reflect a bond I have with my subjects and contain emotional power attained only through the crossing of cultural boundaries. Obviously I highlighted my images of Haiti, developed in the style of 19th century photographs and talked extensively about my travels with artist Franz Zephirin who was determined to show me ‘the real Haiti’. We traveled to Cap Haitien and specifically to his grandmother’s voodoo compound where I was graciously given permission to record the events of a seasonal voodoo ritual. Ceremony of the Serviteur was shown in it’s entirety during this talk.