Friday, 8 November 2013

Introducing curators and artists: part III

Today we'd like to present our second guest curator, a Canadian artist Isabelle Thibeault-Jolin, and the artists that she chose for the exhibition, Marianne Priest and Toralf Sümmchen.  

The photos we included in these descriptions are examples of the photographers' work, but not the ones included in the exhibition, as only two photographs per artist will be shown as part of this curator's presentation and we don't want to give too much away before the opening.

Isabelle Thibeault-Jolin 

is a photographer, painter and collagist living in Montréal, Canada. She takes both analogue and digital photographs, sometimes linking both in photographic collages. Isabelle uses photography as a way of documenting how the world around her affects her thoughts and moulds her experience: As for what I'm trying to show in my photography, well, I'm trying to show to myself how I experience the world and myself. It's like wearing glasses; it helps me to see better. Isabelle runs regular features in journals on her page, presenting works by artists she find interesting.
You can find Isabelle's work on her page and her blog A Thousand Ways to Tell a Tale.
 What do you look for in photographs?
There are different types of photography that I enjoy. I suppose what I enjoy most is when I feel there is a whole universe behind the image - the universe of the artist - and the image drags me and makes me want to look longer, to get a better impression of that universe. Sometimes this doesn't happen right away, you must take your time.

 Why did you choose these specific artists?

This has to do with my answer to the first question. I've been following Marianne and Toralf's works for a couple of years, now. I feel in tune with their universe. There is a sensibility about their work that touches me. Also, they both experiment with analog photography and make their own prints, which is something I am interested in. 

Marianne Priest 

Marianne Priest is a self-taught photographer living in northern lower Michigan. She got her first camera in the late 90s and over the years has learned from reading, trial and error (...). (Marianne defines her current style as) reminscent of pictorialism,  prevalent in the late 1800s into the early 1900s.  It is a style that suits Marianne's desire for an intimate connection between the image and the viewer. In the rather impressionistic looking images she creates, the viewer is allowed to put their own ideas and dreams into the photograph and get from them what they feel as opposed to what she might have been feeling.  

(...) For the past 5 years she has been learning and experimenting strictly with the Lith process of printing. (...)

She chooses to print her images rather small, most of them on 8x10 paper with the image itself being smaller than the paper size. In printing them smaller, she hopes the viewer will  have to come up closer to the image and in doing so, become more intimately involved with each photograph.  

You can find Marianne's photos and more textual information about her work in her portfolio, where the above text has been extracted from, and on her page.

Toralf Sümmchen

Toralf Sümmchen is a Brooklyn-based artist working primarily with wet collodion and in a variety of styles. He describes this process and reasons for using these techniques below:

I've been practicing the wet plate collodion since summer 2012 after attending a workshop by Brooklyn-based artist Robyn Renee Hasty. In spring 2013 I attended another workshop at the Center for Alternative Photography in Manhattan held by Savannah, GA based artist Ellen Susan. The interest to work in this process was mainly triggered by the magical work of Sally Mann. 

I started working in analogue media a few years ago when I felt more and more alienated by the computer work I did (and do) in my day job and started again to draw and paint and do mixed media work and later went back to film photography. After working with instant peel-apart film, which can show interesting artifacts in the negatives depending on the treatment before and after the exposure, I followed the recommendation of my partner Lily Qian to learn the wet plate collodion process.

The sometimes hard to control, slow and craft-oriented process, the moment of chance and the pleasure of reading old manuals from the beginning of photography and working with old equipment and actual chemistry, these are just a few of many reasons why I enjoy using this old technique. 

You can find Toralf's work on his page and on Facebook.

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