We still have a few shares available for our 4th round CSA! We are publishing short interviews with the six featured photographers to get to know them and their work a bit better. This is Christa Blackwood!
Figures and landscape are prominent subjects in your photography. Tell us more about those themes and the juxtaposition between the two.
I am basically a visual culture junkie and fascinated with images and the power that they can hold over us.
When I was a student in NYC, I worked for 7 years as a photographer at NYU's Institute of Fine Arts, the graduate school of art history, art conservation and archeology, and took pictures for all of the classes held at the institute. This was in the 90’s, everything was shot on rolls of Kodachrome, sent to a 4 hour processing lab, and then the slide film would be cut up into individual frames, mounted in archival glass mounts, labeled and classified.
In photography as well as painting, nudes and landscapes are two of the biggies in terms of subject matter and within these there is the hybrid-the figure in a landscape category. I shot thousands of images for the institute and noticed the repetitive theme of woman as subject for nudes in the nude category, in the figure in the landscape category, and as metaphor for landscapes. I am interested in responding to this practice that has codified much of what we see historically and still today in art, photography, media.
You use some unconventional materials and paper in your photography. How does that add to the final realization of your concept?
Getting down and dirty with direct hands on processes/alternative/historical processes, our original layers, is always fun and challenging way to work for me. I am not a snob to technique and will use anything that is available to make an image that I feel is striking and unique. I have worked with large format view cameras, Rolleis, 35mm film cameras, silver prints, digital prints, etched prints, silk screened prints, cyanotypes, platinum, palladium, cyanotypes, encaustic, collodion ... I find it exciting to combine some of these practices. It makes the work more playful and experimental for me. There is always something to discover and learn from-a new technique, a new tool, new materials.
What was your impression of the ILFORD paper?
The sample pack of ILFORD Galerie Prestige papers made some very very impressive prints that replicated the look and feel of my alt process images. I was pretty blown away with the quality of the texture and the way the paper seemed to reflect light and duplicate the gold leaf surface quality of the gilded platinum prints on velum. KUDOS ILFORD.