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Installation View

These are images from the actual show.

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Senior Show Work

I recently completed my senior thesis exhibition at Alfred University.  These are the images and the artist statement that were included in my show.  The images were separated into three separate series; Street level buildings (7), Industries connected to the rail system (4), and Buildings down by the bayfront (3).

Artist Statement

Elliott Erwitt stated in an interview for Aperture Magazine, “I don’t believe that photography can change the world, but it can show the world changing.”  In this body of work, I am documenting the lost industrial scene in my hometown, Erie, Pennsylvania.  I documented how the area changed over time by solely focusing on the building itself without any extra distractions to specifically date the images.  Many of the older buildings are no longer functioning, however, there are a few industrial sites which are still in use.  I researched these industrial sites through personal stories, old magazines, and newspaper articles.

I began working around familiar places and locations that have a history or unique background.  Most of these buildings are familiar because they are structures I passed every day.  I have a different connection to other buildings because of anecdotes my family has told me about working in some of these old factories.  These stories were about the job environment and co-workers, as well as the songs my Grandmother and the other factory workers used to sing while working during the World War II era.  Along with the anecdotes, I find the effect weather and time have on these old buildings to be intriguing, giving them character.  My photographs tend to be void of people and vehicles that could potentially date my images.  I strive to capture the building or place that I am photographing for what it is today, whether abandoned or used for a different type of company than originally intended.

My focus is traditional black and white photography.  I enjoy the technical aspect of working directly with film and processing the images in the darkroom.  Being able to personally manipulate the images to represent the buildings as they are seen today is the most satisfying aspect of working in this medium.

Eugene Atget

Eugene Atget was a French born orphan.  He tried a few different professions such as being a sailor and then an actor.  He photographed as a form of income.  I studied Eugene Atget’s photography while I was abroad in Florence, Italy and fell in love with a few of his images.  He has this sort of surreal approach to some of his images which I find to be fascinating.  I also like that he photographs a place such as Paris, France and manages to capture a city in a way that is not normally pictured.  Many of his photographs do not represent the busy streets of Paris, yet the open clear intersections with maybe a person or two present.  Its not what one would expect.  I find that in my own work I never end up having people in my images unless they’re a silhouette or very hidden.  It is not a conscious thing but something I have noticed.  I think because of this similarity in my own work I am able to relate to some of his photographs in a different way.  I had the opportunity to see a few of his prints at the George Eastman house in Rochester, New York a few days ago.  The prints were incredible!  If I have another chance to go back and explore the archives some more I plan to do so.  It makes the images more real when you can actually see them in person.  Below are a few images that I found representing Atget’s work.

A Work in Progress

These are a few images from my final project this semester.  After the Rochester series of photographs I got into this mindset of photographing industrial landscapes.  I went around Erie, PA over Thanksgiving break and photographed a few different locations.  I haven’t figured out exactly where I’m going with this idea but it is something I would like to investigate over the winter break.  I plan to continue photographing industrial landscapes, buildings, and whatever else I may find while wandering these sites.  Along with photographing these sites I plan to do a lot of background research on the locations to find out as much information as possible.  Depending on the information I find it may influence how I go back and re-shoot some of the locations as well as how I end up displaying the work.  This is just a starting point for a larger project.  Having taken the alternative process course this semester I have learned a lot of new techniques for printing which will give me that many more possibilities when it comes to printing all the images I gather over break.  The class also taught me to think about my images in some different ways depending on the process I might be considering to print with.  It has been a tough semester but I think that this project is a beginning of something.

Rochester, New York

A few weeks ago I took a trip to Rochester to visit a family friend.  It was a cold day but we ended up walking around by the falls and I took these photographs.  I wasn’t really thinking about what I was doing,  it was just this mindless action to keep myself busy.  I printed them in cyanotype, and this gave me a jump start for a new project.  These are a few of the Rochester prints.

Train Sets

While abroad in Italy I studied photography so I was constantly traveling and hanging around in the train stations.  After developing my film I would often come across surprise negatives, and pairs of negatives side by side such as the images above.  I finally had the chance to print these images in cyanotype.  They remind me of the work of Sarah Moore.  I really enjoy this idea, the perspectives are engaging and the subject matter is a favorite of mine.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and hath shed his own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my soul.

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my soul.

This semester has been rough in more ways than one, but this song has been sung quite frequently so I wanted to post it.  The song is titled, It Is Well with My Soul.