Archive for May, 2010
Painted Turtle Shell Book
I have been preparing work for three shows simultaneously. The theme of one of the group shows is ‘Shell’, and I have enjoyed making work for it. One, I had written about in an earlier post involved turtle shells, shot with my old Burke and James 5×7 view camera. The finished piece is a hinged ‘book’ of two panels. The images are beeswaxed. The panel sides and backs are painted a chinese red. I am excited to show this new work.
Unlike the turtle shell book, which was thought out, contemplated, worked on technically over a long time, another piece came about spontaneously, effortlessly. I had an old fossilized shell and I wanted to include it in the show. I made various images of it on my studio worktable, but it just wasn’t happening. On another table was a clutter of ‘specimens’ – odds and ends of plants, bugs, rocks. An old feather I had picked up on a shoreline a long time ago caught my eye. I made a quick composition and it felt right, all in about 15 minutes. The image was made using my Panasonic G1, with my old Canon 50mm f3.5 macro lense and adapter. Handheld. The printed image is almost monochrome, just a touch of blue-grey, feeling like my sea memory.
Maybe the weather, maybe a series of events that have become a struggle…sometimes one has to take a long trip inward. This image of a castle window seat, in the Castilla Belmonte, in the LaMancha region of central Spain reminds me of that inward trek. As I wander alone, looking at this image, I imagine the numbers of women and men back in time that have sat at this window seat, pondering their own imbroglios. It is somehow comforting to know that there were places in the architecture of an old castle made specifically for contemplation.