Photo Alchemy

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An Exhibition of Alternative Process Photography

April 1 - May 7, 2011


Juror's Choice Portfolios

Congratulations to our juror's choice award winners. Click on the links below to see a portfolio of additional work by these terrific artists. Click here for Bill Westheimer and here for S. Gayle Stevens and here for Jody Ake.

Congratulations to all of the artists who participated in Photo Alchemy!


About Photo Alchemy

This exhibition showcases the revival in alternative process photography. In recent years contemporary photographers have been taking a fresh look at early printing processes‚ from cyanotypes to daguerreotypes, these deep, dreamy images bring a unique style and surface to a photograph that can not be achieved digitally.

As the juror for this show, Laura Moya tells us, “I am delighted with the recent groundswell of photographers rediscovering historic and alternative processes. There is still an inherent need for some artists to use photography to explore the unexplained in life. The processes in this exhibit lend themselves to the exploration of memory, loss, and the unspoken. It hints at traces—of people, of objects, of ideas. Perhaps unknowingly, poetry becomes part of the image.

These new images explore the notion that the time spent ‘crafting’ a photograph versus ‘taking’ a photograph gives the photographer space for thought. If one is working with heavy lenses, glass plates, or a multitude of chemicals, time slows down. If one is considering how air temperature might affect one’s film, time really slows down. It is the complexity of these processes that bring gifts to the table.”

ABOUT LAURA MOYA — Photo Alchemy was juried by Laura Moya, executive director of Portland-based Photolucida, a non-profit that works with emerging photographers, organizing their biennial Reviews festival and managing their publications. She has curated the exhibits Resurrection: A New Look at Old Processes at 23 Sandy Gallery, and Borderline/Safekeeping at the Lishui Photography Festival. Laura has lectured at the Pingyao Photography Festival in China, and written interview pieces for Griffin Museum of Photography and Finite Foto. She has performed portfolio reviews nationally and internationally, most recently at Atlanta Celebrates Photography and Lenswork/Fotofest in Paris.


Awards

One artist was selected to win the Portfolio Prize for Photo Alchemy by Blue Mitchell, the publisher of Diffusion Magazine. Congratulations to Alyssa C. Salomon. Her Van Dyke photographs printed on handmade paper will be featured in the next issue of this well regarded magazine focusing on “unconventional photography.”

In addition, three photographers were awarded Juror’s Choice Awards as selected by our juror, Laura Moya. Those winners are: Jody Ake, S. Gayle Stevens, and Bill Westheimer.


Juror's Statement

I am delighted with the recent groundswell of photographers rediscovering historic and alternative processes. The easy explanation is that it is a response to the digital age, and this is true to a point. To a larger extent, there is still an inherent need for some to use photography to explore the unexplained in life.

The processes in this exhibit lend themselves to the exploration of memory, loss, and the unspoken. It hints at traces­—of people, of objects, of ideas. Perhaps unknowingly, poetry becomes part of the image.

A dingo-like dog fades in and out of the open air.
Decomposing bird wings suggest the dive of Icarus.
A lock of chestnut hair becomes a two-dimensional memento.
Amorphous shapes printed on Braille paper suggest twins in utero.
A barren, desert landscape is punctuated with power lines.

I believe that the time spent ‘crafting’ a photograph versus ‘taking’ a photograph gives space for thought.
If one is working with heavy lenses, glass plates, or a multitude of chemicals, time slows down. If one is
considering how air temperature might affect one’s film, time really slows down. It is the complexity of
these processes that bring gifts to the table.

I wanted to sculpt an exhibition that transcends process. Yes, the work is about the process, but how is the image telling us something apart from how it was made? How has the artist used invention and imagination to further craft their image? What we take away from each should be a balance of all.

Laura Moya
March 2011


Installation Shots


 

Top Artist Image Credits: S. Gayle Stevens (left), Susan Weil and José Betancourt (center), Bill Westheimer (right)

 

 

 

All images and text copyright the artists and authors. All rights reserved.