May in the Main Gallery: Transient
Our May show in the Main Gallery, Transient, features core artists Rebecca Skinner and Mary Marley. The show will run from May 2nd through May 27th. There will be an opening reception on May 4th from 5:00-8:00 pm featuring violinist Olivia Czech from 5:00-6:30 pm. Additional events include Urbex Roundtable on May 20th at 2:00 pm and a Gallery Talk on May 27th at 4:00 pm. Below the artists talk about the theme of the show and answer some questions about process and ideas.
My work for Transient consists of images I have taken over the past few years. I have traveled throughout the eastern United States exploring abandoned structures. I find beauty in these forgotten places and am fascinated by the history and the sense of awareness of the passing of time.
How do you find your locations?
I am asked this question often. I belong to a group of likeminded photographers that live all over the east coast. We share information on locations and safety. We share images and offer support to one another. Some in the group are professional photographers who bring loads of gear, while others take quick shots with their cell phone. I think we all enjoy the exploration and the history behind the places we visit.
Will you share location information?
Not usually. People steal from these places, destroy them, and sometimes lack respect for these properties. It is not safe to go into these places, and I would hate for someone to get hurt at a location I shared with them.
Is it safe?
No. Most abandoned buildings have dangerous conditions -- anything from rotten floors to asbestos (requiring a respirator). I always let someone know where I am going, and never go alone.
Do you arrange objects or stage your work?
I feel strongly about leaving a location as I found it. I do not want to disturb the history that is being preserved in these places. If I open a door, I close it behind me. If there is something distracting in my image, I take the shot anyway. There is a story. I do not want to change it.
Do you use a tripod?
Yes. There is often very little light in these places. A tripod is necessary for the quality that I hope to achieve in my images.
What kind of lighting do you use?
99% of the time I use natural light. Occasionally I end up in a place that has zero light and use a head lamp for lighting.
To learn more about this style of photography, please come to the “Urbex Roundtable Discussion” on May 20th at 2:00 pm. Fellow photographers, Robert Marsala and Ken Maston, will be there to discuss what we do in more detail.
The title of this show, Transient, shares many of the properties of encaustic paint. Encaustic is technically a difficult medium to master and yet it offers endless variations and possibilities.
Another definition of the word transient is the state of being homeless, destitute and always on the move without a fixed reference point. One of my favorite characteristics of encaustic paint is the unpredictable nature of wax. Working on many panels at once, some of the materials I use are; oil paint, different collage techniques that include aged papers, rusted silk, ink, wax pencils, metallic pastels, all fusing together to create one solid surface.
Because encaustic wax needs to cool down and cure the process takes time to reveal itself. Often while painting I'll meditate on one word or phrase that finds its place into the piece in an indirect way. My work is a combination of pattern and chaos roiling together in momentary variations, a rearrangement of surfaces and perception that the passage of time brings.