Daughters of Mystery
Long before I discovered my interest in photography, I drew and painted. I returned to painting through photography – RELIQUARY is a combination of both drawing and painting, but the process is totally chemical. My involvement, both physical and intellectual, has only begun once the initial print is made.
I discovered my process serendipitously; it evolved because of the lack of tactile participation conventional darkroom work allows. Earlier, I was hand-coloring with colored pencils, but I felt the photos appeared colored in, as in a coloring book. The technique was sedentary and dull; the color merely sat on the surface.
With the intricate toning process I use now, I’m active when I work on my pictures. I touch them, mark them and tear them. I get messy in the studio. I do the toning in daylight, in sunlight. It’s satisfying to be connected for days, sometimes weeks, and in the case of Reliquary, for over six months time. The work isn’t finished until it feels completed. The black and white print is not an ending, but a beginning.
RELIQUARY measures 8’ high x 20’ long. It is a one-of-a-kind gelatin silver print from a constructed negative, polychromed with photographic toners. This piece, and every one in the series Daughters of Mystery is unique and treated individually. I couldn’t duplicate an element - nor would I want to.
I repeat particular figures and symbols in my work because they are evocative to me. In the studio I think of: Freda Kahlo Rituals of Life My deceased sister, dreams. I am inspired by Renaissance and Italian painting, Hispanic Religious Folk art, Frescoes, Russian Icons, Illuminated Manuscripts, Contemporary painting.
8’ h x 20’ w
Collection of the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA