Spirits in the Material World

I was accepted into the student show at McMaster and I’m thrilled. I have been working my tail off to improve my photography for years and it is so encouraging to get some recognition. This is just the kind of motivation I need to finish off my senior year strong.

It also makes it easier to put myself out there for the next project. A Columbia artist collective called Pretty Girls put together a show at Gallery 80808 last year that was fun and provocative.

For months, I have been thinking about their next theme and wondering how I might contribute.

We creatives have to put a lot of trust in serendipity. I used to make a lot of problems for myself waiting to start from the perfect idea…, trying to totally bypass the process of creation. I have come to realize that the art is in the process.

That is why it is so stinkin’ exciting when things start to make sense.

Consumerism is the theme.  I am thinking a lot about how media messages shape our consciousness. How we can be distracted from the truth within ourselves by the material things in our lives.

I want to show the part of the spirit that is incorruptible. I want to nurture the attitude that we aren’t created by culture, we are the creators of culture.

I am inspired by this photograph of/ by Francesca Woodman…

From Space2 series, 1977

..and old-fashioned spirit photography…

Frederick A. Hudson (England), Albumen Print, 3.5 x 4 inches circa 1875

Mr. Raby with the Spirits "Countess," "James Lombard," "Tommy," and the Spirit of Mr. Wootton's Mother from http://www.photographymuseum.com

…to show our spirits in the material world (Thanks, Sting!)

I am thinking of using a lighting technique to create a ghosted image. Working with a slow shutter speed and popping a strobe flash a couple times to freeze the model, like in this series of images by photographer Chris Kilkus: http://www.kilkus.com/blog/?p=151

I have played with it in the studio but never put it to work before.

It’s perfect Holga material but I don’t want to place tooooo much trust in such a tricky toy. I’ll shoot digital, too.

I want the viewer to feel sanguine, assured and maybe a little spooked.


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