Monday, August 18, 2014

Two Year Anniversary: Camera Giveaway Winner!

Image by: David Gardner, End of Day. Valley of Fire. NV

Thank you everyone for all the kind words you commented, emailed, texted, and generally sent our way about enjoying Light Leaked these last two years! After conducting a random generator selection the winner of the Bilora Bella 66 camera (with camera case) and two rolls of Kodak Tri-X 120 film is David Gardner!

Thank you all for entering, and a big thank you to Denton Camera Exchange for sponsoring this awesome give way.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Two Year Anniversary: Camera Giveaway

Hey Readers! 

It's Light Leaked's two year anniversary! To begin a tradition started last year, we will be doing a giveaway to thank you for being a part of this growing community of artists! Light Leaked has been a important part of our lives this year, and we really appreciate all the people we have met, and the dialogue that has been created through this journal. This year we will be giving away a vintage Bilora Bella 66 camera (with camera case) and two rolls of Kodak Tri-X 120 film (sponsored by Denton Camera Exchange*). 

Giveaway will run until August 15th, 2014 and a winner will be announced on August 18th, 2014.

How to enter: 

1. Like Light Leaked on Facebook
2. Like or comment on the original post on Light Leaked's Facebook page about this giveaway
3. or comment on the original post on 
4. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on August 18th 

Thank you for a great year,

Ashley and Sheryl

*Thank you Denton Camera Exchange, for sponsoring this giveaway! Denton Camera Exchange is a camera store based on Denton, TX that supplies new, used, and antique cameras, lenses, and film development.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rachel Boillot

Rachel Boillot (b. 1987) grew up in New York and Singapore. Her undergraduate coursework was completed at Tufts University and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She spent the following two years working as a photographic archivist for the Boston Housing Authority. Before returning to graduate school, she taught photography at My Life, My Choice, helping victims of sexual exploitation tell their own stories.

Rachel graduated from Duke University’s MFA|EDA program this past May. Post Script was her thesis work. The project is available as a limited edition photobook and also marked her first solo exhibition at the Cassilhaus Gallery. 

All of Rachel’s photographic work explores the American home and socio-cultural landscape. Other projects have looked at her own home, foreclosed homes, public housing developments, and former mining boomtowns.

As the recipient of a post-graduate fellowship, she will continue to photograph in North Carolina and Tennessee this upcoming year.

Post Script 

In 2011, the United States Postal Service announced 3,653 rural post offices would close. A disproportionate number of the condemned are located in the South. Several thousand locations have since been added to this list of erasure as the Postal Service struggles to cement its foothold in an increasingly digitized world. The fate of the rural post office remains unclear. 

Growing up in America, I scarcely thought about the post office. Its ubiquity in the American landscape rendered it nearly invisible to me. In Post Script, I explore how the post office embodies the identity of place.

The post office serves as town center in rural communities. Often acting as a town’s sole address, this location embodies the numerical identity of place. Without its presence in the landscape, a ZIP code is lost. Yet residents remain anchored in place. In spite of post office departure or a vanished code, the home stands. Attachment to land lingers, rooted deeper than digits. 

I was initially intrigued by the dilemma of the Postal Service because of the parallel to my own field. Like the letter, the analog photograph seems threatened at present. Though photography flourishes, the transition from analog to digital has rendered aspects of my own practice obsolete—even entirely extinct. As remains of the analog world coexist with the emergent digital technology, this moment of change begs consideration.

Upon reflection, I realized the similarity between photographs and letters. From the moment the envelope is sealed, or the shutter clicked, both objects bring messages from the past. As the object arrives, it brings this past into our presence, whispering across distance. As each takes flight, the sender relinquishes all control. Their very message relies upon the grasping interpretations of a recipient. Both are full of gaps, filled with mystery and the struggle to communicate across time and space.

This is a work about post offices. It is also a work about place—in this case, many different places in the rural South—but more importantly, the very notion of place. How we name it and if we can claim it. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Christine Shank

Christine Shank is an artist working predominantly in photography. She has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States since 1998 and her artwork is in the Harry Ransom Center and the William Benton Museum of Art as well as several private collections. Shank has been an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony, Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the SIM Residency in Reykjavik Iceland. A selection of her “Interiors” series was published in 2008 through Booksmart Studios in a limited edition monograph titled She Quietly Considers. Shank has received funding through The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, New York Foundation for the Art’s Strategic Opportunities Stipend and The Midwest Center for Photography.

Christine Shank has a BFA in photography from Miami University of Ohio and a MFA from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She currently lives in Rochester, New York where she is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the MFA program in Imaging Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Ashley Kauschinger: Your series, our first year together, has a great variety of imagery. What is your thought process behind this decision and how do you still create a cohesive series? 

Christine Shank:
 Yes there are a variety of different types of images within the series. My ongoing project, our first year together, consists of images that seem unrelated but are bound together by their treatment and tone. There are images that hint at and reference one another while intentionally remaining enigmatic. There are images containing a trace of reference to other images within the series, like an icicle appears in one image and just the watermark from the icicle is in another one; the outline of scissors sun bleached into butcher paper that makes up a different image, nail holes in a wallpaper, blood stained tissues, all these images reference one another and contain a very ordinary type of everyday violence. I am interested in the way that images work together and against one another and how they suggest a very benign sort of disturbance. The sequencing pushes at the differences between the singular images to avoid the implication of any one specific narrative while the wide variety hopefully works to move the viewer through the whole body of work.

Within this series I have been really interested in pushing at what is thought of as a series of photographs. There are images that are highly constructed, to photographs where the only intervention is that I made a picture. Typically the subject matter, the locations, materials, photographic techniques, or methodology will be what binds together a series but with these images what holds them in relationship to on another is the quiet and often very subtle connection between them. This is what creates the tone I believe holds the images in conversation with one another. These images construct the moments in between points of significance, the way much of life is experienced in the middle of contemplation, conflict, and wonderment.

AK: What role does narrative play in your work?

The way I think about and engage narrative in my artwork has greatly changed over the years. When I was working on the Interiors Series (2004-2009) I was very interested in constructing a story to be contained within the frame of one image. That story was told through the scenes I built and the image’s title.

In my current body of work I am most interested in creating a sequences of images that a narrative cannot be easily drawn out of, so it’s the opposite of how I was once working. With this work I am most excited by the restraint needed to make suggestions without pointing to a direct narrative structure or creating a narrative arc. I am not interested in creating a singular narrative or even an explicit narrative. I hope for a feeling to emerge and a relationship between the images to be recognized and that the person viewing the work finds something in the combinations they can relate to. I know this is a tall order considering the speed at which most people consume images these days, especially online with Tumblrs, for instance, or in overwhelming hyper experiences like art fairs.

The title of the series, our first year together, is intentionally vague and creates more questions than answers. In fact I have been developing the series over many years—from 2009 – 2014. But I think the title matches the softness and suggestive moments within the photograph while creating a time period in which to consider the images. A few years ago I had a review with curator Roy Fulkerson and he said, “don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there,” which is a quote from Miles Davis and it fits how I am thinking about what emerges from our first year together.

AK: What influence does literature and poetry bring to your photographic work?

I feel connections between photography and literature. What I draw the most inspiration from is what I read and what I experience in my day-to-day life. I recently read Rage of Poseidon by Anders Nilsen, Mumbai, New York, Scranton by Tamara Shopsin, Path by Rebecca Solnit & Elin Hansdottir and Can’t and Won’t: Stories by Lydia Davis. For different, and some overlapping, reasons these books are really inspirational to me right now. Jeffery McDaniel is my favorite poet and has been for a number of years. I always go back to his poems and always feel something stir in me when I read them. Diane Ackerman, Annie Dillard, Malcolm Gladwell are also writers that I am inspired by and always enjoy reading. The way they can create a story about the fragility of being human while also examining nature, society, economy, and exploring their own curiosity through stories is wondrous to me.

My husband has recently been reading books on the origins of the essay and the conversations we’ve had as a result have caused me to think about sequencing images in a very different way and inspiring me to sketch new images to create in the studio.

AK: Take us through what a day of creating art is like for you. What environment do you create for yourself?

I really prefer being alone when I’m working. I figured out pretty early on that socializing and making art don’t fit together for me; even when I’m just scanning negatives I prefer isolation. Over the years I have had really wonderful studio assistants but I have never been able to really make my work with anyone else around. I like it to be quiet, no phone, no internet, sometimes no music. My studio is a very private place where I can play, make messes, make mistakes, consider things and walk away from something leaving it right where it is knowing that it will be there when I return. I have a phrase taped to the back of my studio door – expect nothing– which is what I strive for when working. Holding that in mind keeps me open to surprises. I am a very organized person when I teach and I try to be tidy in my home and office space at work, but in the studio I am none of those things. In the last decade I have had 5 different studio spaces and the ones that worked best for me were those where I left home to go to the studio. Even just a mile away is enough for me to separate myself from the other responsibilities of my life and to enter the working space of the studio. In recent years I have started to do residencies and in those months or weeks away I am the incredible productive. There is something really uncomfortable and helpful to me in the window of time where everything is new, uneasy and unsettling, I feel a heightened sense of awareness and am very sensitive and productive in that time.

AK: You graduated with an MFA from Texas Woman's University 10 years ago. What advice do you have for photographers navigating the world after graduate school?

I think post-graduate school you have to really be honest with yourself about what your priorities are and what is most important to you. I believe you have to figure out what you enjoy doing and how you want to spend your time. During graduate school, time is really devoted to your growth and experimentation as an artist and students have to work within the requirements of a specific program. Other than the program’s guidelines it’s really about you and your work. When you are done with school you have to get really clear with yourself about what you want and what you are willing to do to have what you want in your life because no one is holding you accountable for anything anymore.

I chose the path of teaching as a way to make a living and support my art. I’ve been really fortunate and I started teaching full-time directly after grad school. This has worked out well for me and I have been fortunate to work in supportive universities with colleagues who have helped me grow as an educator and artist. I have friends who have chosen other avenues and I talk to my students about the variety of jobs and careers that may be a good fit for their lives post grad school. I think it’s important to remember no path is easy and no choice is wrong, you have to figure out what works for you.

Also I think the quote in my studio I mentioned earlier is good advice in it’s many interpretations: expect nothing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ariella Gibson

Ariella Gibson is an American born artist and photographer. In 2013 she received her BFA with a concentration in Photography from Memphis College of Art. Her work investigates subjects at a level below the surface, literally or metaphorically. Through intimate documentation of the visceral and emotional, Ariella explores shared mental spaces. Her work has been exhibited nationally and she currently lives and works in Northwest Arkansas. This summer she will begin her MFA in Photography at Hartford Art School. 

Project Statement 

Born explores the significance and complexity of childbirth. People involved in a birth are torn between negative and positive emotions, a strange mixture of happiness and pain, worry and excitement, anticipation and dread. This series puts an emphasis on the physical byproducts of birth to symbolize these kinds of conflicting emotions. They are both kinds of interiors becoming exteriors, our insides emerge outside. The visceral natures of the byproducts of birth are important tools for evoking a reaction in the viewer. Feminist theory attributes sexism partially to women’s inevitable relationship to the abject. By elevating abject imagery to fine art, the series deconstructs the taboos associated with birth and the female body. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scott Alario

Scott Alario was born in New Haven, CT in 1983 and currently lives and works between Providence, RI, and Alfred, NY, where he is a visiting assistant professor in the School of Art and Design at Alfred University. He received his MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013. His work has been included recently in exhibitions at Louis B. James, NY, 2013-14, and ClampArt, NY, 2013. In 2011 Alario was named one of seven emerging photographers to watch by Art New England. He is the recipient of a 2012 Fellowship Merit Award from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Alario's work is currently on view in a solo exhibition (til July 18) at Kristen Lorello, NY. 

What We Conjure 

I’m in the process of a body of work that has no end in sight. What We Conjure is an autobiographical story, a contemporary folk tale, one that I’m creating along with my partner, our five-year old and our dog.

The work consists of pictures that are made while tracking and documenting, collaboratively inventing and constructing. I follow intuition, daydreams, our daughter’s instruction, or carefully sketched out ideas; and I set them before a large format view camera. Using an 8 x 10 inch film camera connects me directly to the history of photography, and specifically, to a history of the family photograph. It’s a process I’ve come to love regardless how counter-intuitive it may seem amid today’s picture making technology. The view camera’s fidelity and rendering of tone is unrivaled, and its presence with a sitter creates a performance, its own unique drama.

I’m exploring my role as father through these pictures, and occasionally appear on the other side of the lens, implicated in the story we weave. There was a point when I found myself wandering, looking for a photograph, with fingers crossed. When I became a parent I felt an urge to tell stories and so set out to make a fable for my daughter. Along the way, reality has leaked into our myth. We are on a search for the spiritually significant, the magic in every day. What will we find that’s worth passing down? What will we conjure?