Photograms: Capturing the Restless Shadow
I find that photograms resonate with an ethereal, otherworldly beauty, yet are grounded in a rich, tangible immediacy. My photograms capture the restless shadows and intimate traces of insects, birds, animals, plants, symbolic objects, and most often the human body. They seem to bridge realities, hovering between visible and invisible worlds, where time stops, tonal values flip, shadows glow and creatures radiate light.
Like the mark left by a sweating glass of water, photograms are unique traces. Sweat, blood, body heat and other residues interact in unexpected ways with photosensitive chemicals, enhancing the intimate and sensual nature of photograms. They suggest a playful oscillation between the ephemeral and material, absence and presence, past and present. The object creates the shadow, but now the shadow creates the object.
Shadows separated from their source take on a life of their own, severing the connection to reality and suggesting other mysterious realms. Photograms date back to the earliest photographic experiments, and later to the surrealists’ exploration of the unconscious, but connect to an even more ancient impulse. In his Natural History, Pliny the Elder credits the origin of painting to the tracing of a beloved’s shadow, while others theorize the flickering shadows produced by the fires of cave dwellers. This appealingly primal desire to stop time and fix all that is fleeting provides a vehicle of great expressive potential create and peer into imaginary realms. In the end, my work reflects that I am enchanted by extravagant beauty, seduced by intimate reality and captivated by mysterious possibility.