Divergence and Accord
“It is my conviction that the darkroom is capable of being, in the truest sense, A visual laboratory, a place for discovery, observation and meditation…let us not delude ourselves by the seemingly scientific nature of the darkroom ritual; it has and will always be a form of alchemy.” ~Jerry Uelsmann
In my work I explore numerous avenues often mixing science with history. I am especially drawn to photographic processes of the 19th century. Working with these seemingly primitive processes creates images that are tangible and show the mark of the maker. These 19th century photographers are often compared to alchemists due to their pursuit of taking seemingly mundane objects, and through scientific means, magically turning them into something valuable and beautiful.
The 19th century photographic process in this piece depicts parts of the symbolic story of alchemy. Alchemy has a magical and almost mythical side that often goes to a spiritual place. The two square tintypes are decaying. They are enveloped in shadow and mimic the process of being slowly forgotten, as history slowly fades further into the past. These images are accompanied by bright stark digital images that focus on the subject of light or rather light as a subject, beckoning to the very essence of what photography is. These works play off each other. They are polar opposites of light and dark; they combine the new and the old, becoming a hybrid of what once was and what is now. They show two very different sides to the history of photography, but both work in tandem to tell the whole story.