Traces of Being Exhibition
+February 08, 2021
A nomadic art gallery is showcasing the photography of three women through the end of the month in an online exhibition.
All three of the artists received their Masters of Fine Arts in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, and the exhibition includes 27 of their works, which explore themes including past and present, gender ideologies, memory and the impact of technology on culture.
The shows’ title references the artistic processes used to create the photography.
“In each of their works, they use elements that leave a trace or a mark -- either of the artists’ hand or elements of nature -- and I felt that that was sort of a reminder to the viewer both that the artist had been there and created this work but also a reminder of things we leave behind,” said Kristie Landing, the gallery’s founder. Landing, who curated the show, said the idea for the exhibition originally centered on alternative processes of photography like lumen prints. All three artists employ unique methods to create layered meaning in their work.
Klepper’s Imprints of the Southern Sun series was created using flowers and fruits by exposing photographic darkroom paper to the sun. The imprints of the botanical materials emerged on the paper when it was fixed with a diluted mixture of water and photographic fixer chemistry.
“They serve as mementos from this trying time, a time in a state of constant flux,” a description of her work reads. “The unknown outcome of how the sun, paper, and plant matter will work together creates a photographic image that serves as a metaphor for the state of the world as we know it today. The end result is often hazy and indistinguishable.”
Klepper dedicated the body of work to all those who lost loved ones in 2020.
“Those things eventually perished but the image is left behind, and it's really beautiful, and I thought that was a nice metaphor for the year we had. Hopefully we can move on to something better,” Landing said of Klepper’s work.
Two of Schmidt’s projects were included in the exhibition.
To create her work, Transcriptions, Schmidt brought light-sensitive silver gelatin paper into physical contact with items in nature, touching the paper to soil, water, or plant. A scanner was used to create prints, which were then superimposed into images of the landscape where they were created.
“Transcriptions asks the viewer to consider what can be learned from the world through direct physical contact with it, and what such a connection with the world may reveal about ourselves,” a description of her work reads.
For A Yellow Rose Project, Schmidt also employed the lumen printing process. She created images through collaborative meditations, superimposed images from the women’s suffrage archive and embossed the paper’s surface by hand with text.
Wilson’s work explores the complex relationship between text and image, and how they are interpreted when presented together.
“This body of work attempts to subvert the idea of text and image directing interpretation by placing them together and linking them with uncertainty, to break the logical binds of language and open up a space for critical thinking (what I believe to be absent within our 24-hour news cycle, advertisements, and social media),” a description of her photography reads.
Landing said she considers herself lucky to have started her gallery as a primarily online platform in December 2019, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of many gathering spaces across the United States. Still if possible, she would love to present the Traces of Being exhibition in a physical space in the future.
“As wonderful as it is to have an online platform, seeing the works in person is a much different experience,” she said.