Last weekend was First Friday downtown Phoenix. I have been waiting for this weekend for sometime to see the closing reception of France Scully Oysterman’s show, Natures Second Course. Unfortunately I was out east when she spoke in Tucson and for her opening at the Tilt Gallery. I wanted to see her images from her series Bed and Sleep, I was especially looking at how viewers respond to her work done in Wet Plate Collodion interpreted in the salt printing process. At the show my friend Wendy observed that her favorite were the images of Bed, since they the largest images, were nearly life size, and warm in tone. She felt like she was being invited to go into the bed and sleep whereas the images in Sleep, she became the observer.
Oysterman’s large images were scanned, reproduced digitally, and some were printed on Japanese rice paper. The only time a photographic process comes into question for me is when it becomes the focus or more important than the image. It is when the process becomes the filter through which I see the image, as Sara Moon spoke of color I think it is true as well for photographic processes. I am beginning to believe for most people it is not the question of process but the question of tone and color that speak to the viewer, and how appropriate it is for the support of the concept.
I also went to The Ice House, and amazing old building, obviously at one time was the ice house in Phoenix, that now houses studio space and exhibitions on the first floor. The Fiber of the Matter was on exhibition and a friend Barri Chase had a piece in the show. There were many diverse pieces created with alternative fiber arts as well as a performance piece. Barri’s installation was created with human hair, felted and woven into balls that sometimes became nests when combined with branches inside of an old freight elevator.
I beyond my photography I have been exploring some of my family issues through objects and remains of what I brought back from my trip. I had gathered up some throw away things that were discarded by my family but gave me a ‘trace’ of our history. Specifically I have been working on a strings attached project with symbols of all the things in my family that have a string attached to them. Another piece called missing me where I am examining what was missed by the adults in my family. For me these images relate and support my work and exploration into my family relationships, childhood memories, and are helping me dig deeper into my childhood fears that were never looked at.