An Exhibition of Prints by Tamsen Wojtanowski
May 5 – 31, 2017
Opening Reception Friday May 5, 6-9 pm
Artist Statement: Let’s run away. The age old daydream, let’s just leave. That’s what I need – to escape. This body of work explores that instinct and imagines what it might look like. Grounded in a loose reality, this future is recognizable in its inclusion of commonplace personal effects, familiar architecture, and everyday fauna. But, what am I running from? We live in a moment dominated by “breaking news” delivered to us by our phones, our watches, our computer screens, our TVs. With screen-time increasingly being all the time, it is harder and harder to remove oneself from the constant flow of information. The time spent in the studio and approach taken to make this work becomes a real-time escape. The making of the work, a meditation. Handmade negatives made from papercuts, the act of coating the watercolor paper with the light-sensitive cyanotype emulsion, the exposure, the development – all of it repetitive, measured, labor-intensive, grounding. I am grounded in action, my body moving, my hands doing something. I find an anchor in my work. I choose to create these using the historical photographic process of cyanotype for many reasons. I have an affinity for the rich blue tone that the combination of iron salts exposed to UV light creates. Trained as a B&W darkroom photographer, I see in tones rather than the combination of colors. Trained as a photographer, I understand the photograph’s complicated, albeit persistent, relationship with the idea of truth, and proof of something’s existence. I use the photographic process of cyanotype, with handmade “negatives”, to poke at the idea of truth/proof, and to raise the question – if I think it, if I can see it, if I want it, is that not also true? Is that truth not also proof of existence? I use these prints and writing and paper mache objects to make my wants and dreams of another life true. I use the physical to provide proof of existence, because these are not frivolous daydreams, in this body of work lies a plan.