Thursday, May 29, 2008

Homage to Julia

I sent off my piece for the Homage art exhibit at Cube Gallery in Ottawa, where we used to live. It is a gallery I have had the honor of showing in five times before now. The owner, Don Monet, puts out calls for work twice a year, with themes for each show. I love this because it is both a great way to show work I have already made but also gives me time to create new work if I apply for a show way in the future. This particular theme was a bit more specific than most, which can be very loosely intepreted. The goal was to select an artist, in my case a photographer, whose work I admire, and to then take artistic license to "rip them off". I selected Julia Margaret Cameron, one of my all time favorite photographers, who was photographing in the 1860s. She worked with wet plate collodion, something I have had the pleasure of studying, at Historic Eastfield Village in New York state, with William Dunniway. I have loved Mrs. Cameron's work since the first time I viewed it in Photo History class in University.

The image that I loosely based my image for this show on is called Echo (one in a series). It is one of my favorite images (although I also love Pomona). What I really enjoyed about this challenge was that I could combine old and new. While, Hannah, the woman whom I photographed, has a timeless look, and so does the Polaroid I used to capture her image, her clothing is modern. I did not make this image specifically for this show. I was going to make a new image for this show, but when I started to look back at my work from the past five years I realised I had several images that pay homage to Mrs. Cameron. I find it interesting that I made this image at the very same place where I was taking the workshop on wet plate collodion, which Mrs. Cameron used. The Polaroid for this show was made from an original color slide image.

I hemmed and hawed about how to frame this. Modern or vintage? I was going to mat it in a traditional white museum quality mat with a modern gilded victorian frame but then I decided to keep this little gem little. With the frame it is about 4x5". I decided to use a frame that I bought ages ago while rummaging at the local thrift shop. I originally bought it because it had a charmingly strange image of a woman in it.

I did like the frame but it was really this image in the frame that sold me. She has set next to my desk for several months, and I was a little sad to take her out of her frame and to replace her with a younger woman (I mean really, how unfair after she has been so loyal to me...). I do believe this frame is quite old. The glass is very heavy and is actually convex. I am happy with the choice I made, because I always go pretty conservative with my framing. It is always hard for me to part with my "children" and while I love it when I sell a piece, I would welcome MY "Echo" back...

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