“This is a Photograph” opens at Penland Gallery Tuesday March 22


Sally Mann, Untitled (Self Portraits), ambrotype, 2006-2012


(post by Bridget Conn)

In April of 2015, photographic artist Dan Estabrook organized a round-table discussion at Penland School of Crafts to tackle the subject of the future of chemical photography in the digital age. Discussion points included “Can we make a meaningful distinction between chemical or ‘alternative process’ photography and contemporary digital photography?”, “Can chemistry be a way of understanding the role of digital processes better?”, and “How do we teach chemical photography to keep it from becoming just a style, without substance?” Panelists included Jerry Spagnoli, Christina Z. Anderson, Jesseca Ferguson, Brian Taylor, and France Scully Osterman, though an animated audience of roughly 30 people kept the discussion interactive and lively.



Mariah Robertson, 321, unique chemical treatment on RA-4 paper, 2014



Richard Learoyd, Tatiana Nude, camera obscura Ilfochrome photograph, 2012


Out of this event was born the exhibition soon to open at Penland Gallery, This is a Photograph | Exploring contemporary applications of photographic chemistry, co-curated by Dan Estabrook. The first exhibit to open after Penland Gallery’s renovation, an opening reception will be held Saturday March 26. Penland Gallery director and co-curator Kathryn Gremley speaks about the exhibit:

“This is A Photograph, curated by artist-educator Dan Estabrook, considers the fascinating subject of chemical and physical photography in the digital age and how we might now define a photograph. Handmade images created through the complex alchemy of light and chemistry are the common ground of the artists invited by Estabrook for this exhibition. Each of these contemporary image-makers eloquently reaches forward with their ideas and imagination and back in time to retain their connection to historical processes. The works themselves speak volumes about creative minds that disregard boundaries or definitions and seek only to realize their visions.”


Bridget Conn, Gesture #4, chemigram on gelatin silver paper, 2015


Chris McCaw, Sunburned GSP#399 (San Francisco Bay), unique gelatin silver paper negatives, 2009


Artists in this exhibition:

David Emitt Adams
Christina Z. Anderson
John Brill
Christopher Colville
Bridget Conn
Danielle Ezzo
Jesseca Ferguson
Alida Fish
Adam Fuss
Mercedes Jelinek
Richard Learoyd
Vera Lutter
Sally Mann
Chris McCaw
Sibylle Peretti
Andreas Rentsch
Holly Roberts
Mariah Robertson
Alison Rossiter
Brea Souders
Jerry Spagnoli
Bettina Speckner
Brian Taylor

photo+craft is proud to have this exhibition on our list of +and programming. More information on this exhibition is forthcoming at www.penland.org/gallery



Mercedes Jelinek, Sleep, silver gelatin photograph with paint, graphite, sewn paper and gold leaf

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