Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Sunstone Series

A Sunstone is a cut crystal of calcite, used for sea navigation by ancient peoples. When the sun was obscured by thick clouds and  accurate direction needed to steer by, a sunstone crystal was held up to the sky. In it's facets, the navigator could discern circles of radiance, lines of polarized light, which cut through the dense overcast, and unmasked the hidden sun behind, allowing an accurate reading of direction for sailing.

The photographs in this ongoing series are like personal landmarks or beacons of navigation, each now mostly obscured by vision loss, and each of these recent photographs contain another image - points of visual imagery re- imagained, and brought into a new, immediate context.

They are photographs - light paintings - of other images. I contemplated the ideas and finally started work on the series in October 2013. Some of the smaller images I've incorporated are oridnary snapshots. Some are photos or work made by others, some are commercial images or reproductions of well known ancient or contemporary painting. Yet others are of my own paintings and drawings, or earlier photographs. It only matters that they mean a lot.

For this series, the formal qualities of the original image aren't important. It's not easy for me to throw away concern for visual complexity, but I've deliberatly maintined a strict insistence that the only criteria be that each small photographed image have a strong emotional and personal quality. I'm blending the very personal with the more universal considerations of form, composition, light, and line.

Presenting personally meaningful, but ordinary imagery alone, isn't my goal. But each  "image within the image" remains, sometimes camouflaged, sometimes bold, or dark and inconspicuous, just one element of another unity created by the use of light painging. Light painting is the photographic technique I learned with other sight impaired or blind photographers in the Seeing With Photography Collective.

I've maintined the use of the same flashlight and laser pointer throughout as the light sources.

Above, Sunstone- #'s 1,2,4, and 7

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