Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Announcement: New Call for Entry!

Deadline: January 17
Exhibition: February 27 – March 23
Opening Reception: March 1

From beloved pets to exotic wildlife, animals hold a certain fascination for photographers. They serve us as faithful guardians, trusted steeds, and loyal family members. We invoke them to highlight human traits both good and bad, but also search for our humanity within them. Photographing both the tame and the wild, we seek kinship that cannot be communicated with words. Whether as taxidermies for study, pets for companionship, or out in the wild, for Creatures, the Kiernan Gallery seeks photographs that depict our complex relationship with the animal kingdom.
Baboon in Window, Moscow, 2009 © Anne Berry

For this exhibition, juror Anne Berry will select up to 30 images for display in the main gallery, and up to an additional 40 to be included in the online gallery. All images will be reproduced in an exhibition catalogue available for purchase. A Juror’s Choice and Director’s Choice will also be announced and both winners will receive a free copy of the catalogue.
All photographic media are encouraged.
About the Juror
Anne Berry is a Critical Mass 2012 Top 50 and a 2012 Clarence John Laughlin Award finalist. She is represented by the Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston, and has recently exhibited at the San Diego Art Institute, the Center for Fine Art Photography, and the Fence at Photoville in Brooklyn. Publications featuring Anne’s work include Shots Magazine, Photo District News, Silvershotz, The Portfolio Review, Esquire Russia, Lenscratch, CNN Photos, and Black & White. Anne attended Sweet Briar College (BA) and the University of Georgia (MA). Currently Anne is working on Behind Glass, a collection of images of primates in captivity. 

For more information and to see submission guidelines visit: www.kiernangallery.com

Monday, November 19, 2012

Announcement: New Call for Entry!

Methods (Alternative)
Deadline: December 15
Exhibition: January 30 – February 23
Opening Reception: February 1

Alternative process photography today is a hybrid of historical techniques and contemporary ideas. Old is new again and the resurgence of non-silver processes has led to The Kiernan Gallery’s second alternative process exhibition. Whether it is in reaction to digital, or a hybrid process aided by the technology, these techniques remain as evocative as ever, bringing a unique style to present-day ideas. For Methods (Alternative), The Kiernan Gallery seeks images that use any alternative processing technique for any idea you wish to express.
Joe Swayze, Maine, 2010 (wet plate collodion) 
For this exhibition, juror Christopher James will select up to 30 images for display in the main gallery, and up to an additional 40 to be included in the online gallery. All images will be reproduced in an exhibition catalogue available for purchase. A Juror’s Choice and Director’s Choice will also be announced and both winners will receive a free copy of the catalogue.
Photographic media may include but is not limited to: 
Albumen, Bromoil, Cyanotype, Daguerreotypes, Gum Bichromate, Platinotypes, Salt Prints, Temeraprints, Tintypes, Wet Plate Collodion. Hybrid or Combination images incorporating conventional (including digital) processes with hand-crafted applications are also eligible.  Conventional techniques such as Silver Gelatin, Digital, and C-prints are not eligible.

About the Juror
Christopher James is an internationally known artist and photographer whose paintings and alternative process images have been exhibited in galleries and museums in this country and abroad. His work has been published and shown extensively, including shows in The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The George Eastman House, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  The first edition of his book, The Book of Alternative Photographic Process, received unprecedented critical acclaim and was the winner of The Golden Light Technical Book of the Year award. In 2008, a greatly expanded, and lavishly illustrated 2nd edition was published by Delmar Cengage and has become universally recognized as the definitive text in the genre.  A 3rd edition is currently underway and will be published in 2013.  Christopher, after 13 years at Harvard University, is currently University Professor, and Director of the MFA in Photography program at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.
For more information and to see submission guidelines visit: www.kiernangallery.com

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Unreal Winners (pt 2)

            Juror’s Choice winner, Emma Powell has always been surrounded by photography. The child of two photographers, she has been immersed in it her whole life. Though both of her parents have strong photographic visions, Powell found her own photographic voice with her discovery of alternative processes. Her winning image, Bear, is part of a larger series of cyanotypes. “Cyanotype was the first alternative process I ever used, and I think I was quick to dismiss it for shinier processes like wet plate, although I still make ambrotypes when I can. In the last few years I have returned to cyanotype for its flexibility and have been pleased by how it suits this series.” Made by exposing paper coated in cyanotype chemicals to UV light through a negative, Powell further enriches the tone of the image by staining it with either tea or wine tannins. “I avoid toning them all the way since I particularly like having some of the blue that is the trademark of the cyanotype process show through.”


            The series, titled The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter, a nod to her photographer parents, is inspired by Powell’s interest in “the use of art to visualize history.” Moving away from the literal, Powell aimed to create an imagined history, but also a personal narrative.

The first images were based on fantasy and escapism and a little of the Victorian sensibility left over from my studies of nineteenth-century Rochester, NY, and before that nineteenth-century spirit photography.  From there the series has expanded. I have found myself acting out narratives, which often correspond with something in my life. I leave them open ended and mysterious.
 Against the Storm

            Along with working on her own photography, Powell has been teaching regularly since earning her bachelor’s, and later her master’s, degree. Just as education has been important to her, Powell has leapt at the chance to shape young photographers.

Teaching provides me the opportunity to view different aspects of photography as a beginner. Each time I introduce the camera or black and white processing I discover or re-discover a new aspect of it. This gives me a fresh perspective that hopefully influences my work. I am always amazed by the creative ideas my students come up with. It helps me see my own work from new points of view.
Cat's Cradle

            And as the symbiotic relationship between her teaching and photography helps each evolve, Powell still recognizes that success really does just come down to each individual image.

I make photography for that moment when I see all the elements of the work come together as a final print. The are so many steps where things could and do go wrong: the initial conception, shooting the parts with myself as a model, working up the image and preparing the negative, and the printing toning process. When I am lucky enough to have each of these steps behave that is a moment of success.
The Unreal is on view through December 1, 2012.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Unreal Winners (pt 1)

            The Unreal Director’s Choice winner Angelina Kidd has created a wealth of mysterious and at times unsettling images over the course of her young career. Her wildly imaginative pieces are envisioned and brought to life through several alternative processes, which themselves serve as inspiration.

The use of alternative and historical processes—wet plate collodion, palladium, pinhole/Polaroid and gelatin silver prints, among others—is central to my photography. Not only do these processes tend to produce an antique, timeless effect; they also reflect, through their use and disuse, the passage of time within the art of photography itself.

             The Beginning
            For Kidd’s latest project, however, she found that these processes did not add anything meaningful to the work. “I don’t think alternative process should be used just for the sake of it. I believe there should be conceptual reasoning.” Creating silhouette images, like her winning image, The Beginning, has proved complex on its own. Printing with palladium proved unnecessary.

For now, I have accepted the idea that creating silhouette photographic narratives is an alternative way of working. This doesn’t mean I have given up on the idea of combining alternative process with silhouette, just that I have no good reason for the marriage at this moment.

                Life Ending
            Kidd was originally drawn to silhouettes after seeing the work of Kara Walker. “Her subject matter can be dark and I thought it was brilliant that she uses silhouettes for her narratives. The gentleness of the silhouette pulls you in before you are shocked by the theme.” Frustrated with her straight photography, Kidd decided to play around with silhouettes and was pleased to find herself infused with new creativity. Inspired by her own fascination with the afterlife, she created vignettes that tell the story of life after death. “I approach this emotionally difficult subject from a childlike perspective using silhouette imagery to create narratives and fables to provide hope that there is life after life.”

   Electrical Fire

            For Kidd, success means staying true to herself while creating work that she finds meaningful and that inspires others. In her own photography, this means remembering her past, which serves to inspire her dream-like work.

There were traumas in my childhood. As a child, I could control my dreams whereas I had no control in my waking life. Dreaming was my salvation and therefore as an adult, I have never turned my back on the power of the dream world. Life is full of sharp edges. I think we all need a bit of the surreal to survive.

The Unreal is on view through December 1, 2012.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Jock Montgomery

The Kiernan Gallery was thrilled to have Jock Montgomery as our In Transit juror. Below, we’ve asked him a few questions about his work, his influences, and how his extensive travel helped him as a juror.

With such a passion for adventure and the outdoors you could have easily chosen to pursue many different careers. What drives your passion for photography?

Let me answer in a round about way. I've been blessed to always have a focus (pardon the pun!) and a clear idea of what I have wanted to do. When I was 11 I went on a river trip in Maine that kind of set me on a course that I've never strayed too far from. I became a guide and outdoor instructor starting when I was a junior in high school and all through college. And after college guiding river trips and training guides is what brought me to Nepal in 1983. In the background I've always been drawn towards art and I took many art and sculpture classes in college, but it wasn't until I'd been living in Nepal, guiding trips, and was thinking about "career next steps" that I decided to pursue photography as a business. In 1986 I bought a new camera and 300 rolls of Kodachrome and I traveled around Asia on my own shooting for 6 months. I haven’t stopped looking and seeing since then.

So to answer your question, I've kept moving forward with these passions intertwined and driving each other—my love of travel, adventure and people, applies to both guiding trips (which I still occasionally do with private clients), and photography (I also lead private photography tours). I certainly enjoy the commercial photography, and again my skills in planning trips, leadership, and working with people helped me get assignments and retain a stable of repeat clients.

You have traveled all over the world. How do your experiences influence your photography? How do they (and your own work) influence you as a juror for In Transit?

My photography and my travels definitely influence each other. Much of my work involves people, and I find my shooting is a great way to meet and interact with folks. My camera helps me slip into a place where I’m the foreigner and it gives me a reason to hang out and get to know the people and the places. I’m not a loud person, and when I shoot I’m rarely brusque or hurried and I think that usually comes across in my work. When I shoot portraits I make an effort get to know my subject—form follows function—that kind of thing.

In terms of in-transit photography I find that I usually do my best work when I simply sit down in one place, I stay in the moment and I see what comes past. I love catching those ephemeral moments! I often experiment with combing a sharp stopped-image with, for instance, the discreet blur of a person’s hand.

Your work varies from landscapes to commercial work to everything in between. What is your favorite body of work? How does it influence your other projects?

I don’t have a favorite body of work per say. It’s always more about the next great moment, but definitely my favorite kind of work involves people and story telling. It could be a one off portrait that hints in the background of the person or a place, or it could be a photo essay.

After having lived in Asia for so long, what is it that continues to inspire you and draws you to this continent and its many cultures?

I’m afraid there is no clear explanation for this. To put it one way, there’s a certain chaos and lack of familiarity here that I would miss if I moved back to the west. It’s not always fun either—pollution, noise, etc.—but there’s a certain on-going energy that over the years I’ve absorbed and feel a synergy with. Daily life here—simply walking to lunch—is always pretty exciting!

Finally, we ask this of all our artists: How do you define success?

In terms of being successful as an artist there are at least two elements that help define success in my mind. One is technical success, simply “getting the shot,” the way you want it or expect it to be. The other is about creative success, and this kind of success to my mind is personal, slippery, and transitory at best.

If you ask me how many creatively successful photographs I’ve taken my answer is “certainly not many.” I guess one could say that I infrequently have little successes when I’m out shooting, (I normally would call them gifts). These gifts typically occur when I become fully immersed in the work and I feel I’m really “seeing”. I enter a sort of half-conscious state where my intuition takes over. I’m in a kind of ephemeral, visual trance where I’m striving to make better work and my camera becomes more of a palate than a tool. When I’m seeing in this way, and street photography is a great one for this, my photographs are usually a lot stronger in terms of capturing compelling light and composition, and so they tend more often to scratch at the surface of success. I’ve never read anything by Cartier Bresson, but I’m certainly familiar with his work and I think his photographs speak to this kind of seeing and success.

 Any photograph is obviously about a moment in time—Bresson’s “decisive moment,” of course must be mentioned here—And for me and many others like Bresson, it goes beyond this. It’s about somehow successfully catching these little glimpses of intuitive seeing amidst the chaos, the uncertainty, the ambiguity, and the illusive nature of taking pictures. This is what keeps me so continually enthralled and striving for the occasional gift of success. 

In Transit will be on view December 5-29, 2012.