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Accumulation of iPhone snapshots of Chicago streets, framed as geometric compositions observed while sitting in traffic, and opportunity to present a few in a group show, led to a body of work that combines digital prints on transparency film with laser-cut acrylic structures. Now part of my material/process toolbox, I plan to explore ways to combine photographic images printed on transparency film with the geometric acrylic works.

Sitting in rush hour traffic, often just before entering or many times within an underpass, I began noticing Chicago’s geometry, and then framing geometric abstraction in square and rectangular formats from the driver’s seat of my truck. As an extension of this ongoing series dubbed Random Acts of Urban Geometry, I developed an obsession with Lake Street and the extreme vanishing point anchored by the elevated Green Line tracks.

A 4-person photo-based exhibition titled Borders at UIMA was the impetus behind my first body of work with photographic images. In addition to the physical and conceptual borders captured within the image itself, I approached the concept of borders from a place of memory. Memory that creates borders of time; photos as souvenirs that register a sense of place; nostalgia; structural memory of supports that elevate the track, a repetition of nested brackets created by evenly spaced posts; record of isolated unique compositions.

Probably because, as artist, I have had processed hundreds if not thousands of 35mm slides, photographs as records of inventory, and that the iPhone image files limit scale of possible print, and that I am currently working with laser-cut acrylic, reference to film, slide mounts and/or negative carriers became the starting point of presentation for this project. As artists, no matter where we go (within our studio practice) there we are. As sculptor, I needed to push these, just over the line, into the realm of sculptural objects, not simply framed photographs. As artist, I always gravitate towards transparency. I transitioned from translucent crocheted fiberglass, to drawings on matte and clear Dura-Lar, to laser-cut translucent or transparent acrylic sheet, to presenting photographic images on clear acrylic and transparency film.

As transparent ink sits on top of 1/8” clear acrylic sheet like a velvet memory, images printed by Re-surfaced in Toronto resonate a sense of nostalgia. The archival pigment prints on transparency film, provided by Chicago based Printlab, literally reference photographic film but also open-up the borders of perception as the film makes the image less anchored to the surface than it would be on traditional white paper.

About the Photography Project