Santa Fe

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White Cloud from 30,000 feet

Back from another trip to Santa Fe, this time to attend the opening of the show Do Process at Verve Gallery.

The exhibition is a showcase for eight of the gallery’s artists who use handcrafted techniques in their work – Brigitte Carnochan (hand coloured silver prints), Cy DeCosse (3-colour gum dichromate), Joy Goldkind (bromoil), Jennifer Schlesinger (albumen), Caitie Soldan (mordançage), Henrieke Strecker (photogravure), Maggie Taylor (digital manipulation) and Kamil Vojnar (multi-media).

The show runs through April 14th, 2012.

Verve Gallery of Photography,
219 East Marcy Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501.
Telephone (505) 982-5009.

2011

It’s been an interesting year; one without too much travel, but lots of fun.

 

MCBA
The big thing throughout 2011 has been my MCBA/Jerome Foundation mentorship. It’s been a really satisfying opportunity and the experience of working with the other five recipients, everyone at MCBA and our three generous mentors is one I’ll treasure.

 

A year ago I knew nothing about letterpress printing on the Vandercook, lead typesetting, silkscreen printing, case making, multi-signature sewing, book binding, pressure printing and many other techniques. Today, I’d like to think I know a little more.

 

It wasn’t necessarily an easy project and I didn’t see anything of the spring, summer and autumn because I was busy working at printing the images, laying out and printing the text pages and making the case, but that’s the kind of environment I love to be in. The results of my labour can be found here on my website.

 

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SANTA FE
A short break came in July, when I got to make an unexpected trip to Santa Fe and the Land of Many Uses for the opening of Cy DeCosse’s show at Verve Gallery.

 

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GREECE
After the MCBA opening in early November, I flew to Greece with Beth to assist her with the images for her McKnight Fellowship. We did a lot of walking and a four day road trip; Athens – Corinth – Nafplion – Patras – Delphi – Athens. I even managed to drive through the morning and evening rush hour traffic in central Athens, eventually parking the rental car in the tiny parking space outside our hotel like a true Athenian. Read into that what you will…

 

I realised I had to be one of the few Britons who had never been to Greece before, but I absolutely fell in love with the people, the landscape, the food and the temperament of the country. The trip also gave me the opportunity to catch up with my old friend and photographer Martin, someone I hadn’t see in sixteen years but who I’d spent many, many days and even more evenings with in the 1980s and 1990s. Back then I was printing in London and Martin was one of those photographers who had started as a client but quickly became a close friend. We only got to see him again briefly as he was passing through Athens on his way back to the UK, but it was as if we’d only seen each other the day before. I guess wine has that effect.

 

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Beth using her iPad as an 8″ x 10″ point-and-shoot.

 

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As I write this it’s 7pm CST, so I guess that’s about it for 2011. Here’s wishing for a wonderful 2012.

Santa Fe

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Last week I was in Santa Fe for the opening of Cy’s retrospective at the Verve Gallery. At the last minute Cy was unfortunately unable to make it, so I was asked to catch a flight and stand in for him.

The gallery looked stunning. Everyone at Verve has done a fantastic job putting this together. The show consists of platinum prints, polymer-photogravures and 3-colour gum dichromate prints in the main gallery and Cy’s latest book, The Four Elements, in the print room. This is a set of four hand-made books printed on Somerset Book paper with tipped-in images printed on Japanese paper and all housed in a slipcase.

I arrived on the Wednesday afternoon and headed soon after over to Photo-Eye for their First Wednesday Photo Salon with Patrick Nagatani and David Hyams. Patrick showed artwork made entirely of masking tape and which he calls tape-estries, while David spoke about his work with ambrotypes. Meanwhile, outside the gallery stood the Axle Contemporary mobile art gallery. This is a modified 1970 aluminum van that tours around Santa Fe and has a 6′ x 10′ gallery space.

Thursday morning I drove to the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops as I’d been invited there by a friend from Minneapolis who was taking a workshop with Christopher James. The workshop was a hive of activity and it was a pleasure to meet Christopher after hearing so many good things about him and his workshops, but I didn’t want to get in the way or out-stay my welcome so I left after an hour and went to meet another friend, Peter Ellzey, for lunch. Peter’s a great, generous guy and I regret not being able to spend more time with him. He’s an Apple guy, what do you expect…?

The gallery had arranged two openings; one being invite only for collectors on the Thursday evening and a public reception the following day. There was also an artist talk that had been scheduled for the Saturday afternoon, so I went and spoke about our working relationship over the past fifteen years and answered technical questions. It seems everyone in Santa Fe has made alternative/historical prints at some time or another.

I visited many galleries in Santa Fe, of course, but Andrew Smith‘s gallery just took it out of me, there was so much. I’d been to the old location, but this was new to me and seemed much, much bigger. I wanted to see everything but that wasn’t going to happen in one go, so I went back first thing Saturday morning. Despite being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to images, I absolutely loved the work on show by Louviere and Vanessa. They’ve even invented their own process.

From the Andrew Smith Gallery press release –

Louviere + Vanessa have invented a process of printmaking that generates a similar luminescence to that found in historic orotones or goldtones.

They call their process Photo Noyée, which translates as “drowned image/photo,” to describe how photo-derived imagery, gold and other materials are encased (i.e. “drowned”) in resin. Images are printed on very thin, handmade Japanese “Kozo” paper that virtually disappears when resin is poured over it. Thus they appear to be suspended within glass.

Louviere + Vanessa invented Photo Noyée when they were working on the series “Instinct/Extinct” (2008-2010). They used it again in the silver leaf photographs from the “Folie à Deux,” series, as well as in their most recent body of work, “Counterfeit” (2011).

On Saturday I even managed to find time for a quick road trip up to Taos, located near the Land of Many Uses.

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Cy DeCosse, A Retrospective is at the Verve Gallery of Photography, 219, East March Street, Santa Fe, NM. Telephone 505-982-5009. The exhibition is up through September 3rd 2011.