Friday, July 20, 2012

Sweet Woodruff

Sweet Woodruff (galium odoratum) impression with MaryAnn, 2012

Sweet woodruff owes its sweet smell to the odiferous agent, coumarin which is enhanced as it dries.  It is traditionally used in pot pourri and stuffing of the medieval winter mattress. 

Sweet woodruff prefers shade and it's name, “Ruff,” comes from French, meaning rouelle, relating to the arrangement of the leaves around the stem.

The plant has a long herbal history for use in a variety of ailments, including liver problems, stomach aches, and to promote healing of wounds.  Used in jellies and drinks, most popular is it's flavoring of May Wine or “Maibowle.”

Couldn't resist:  May Day 1994

Klompching Gallery - FRESH 2012

Grateful to jurors Darren Ching and Fred Bidwell.
Thank you, Debra Klomp Ching for the beautiful reception and dinner.

from left:  Lindsay Lochman, Monica Merva, Fred Bidwell, Darren Ching, Shawn Rocco (Tabitha Sorenson)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Mercurial Herbs - Dill and Fennel

The action of Mercurial herbs were seen to "have principle relation to the tongue or brain, lungs and memory; they dispell winde and comfort the animal spirits, and open obstructions."

Consider Dill, a Mercurial herb with powers of Earth and Fire. Dill is a member of the carrot family (along with other familiar herbs and vegetables including celery, parsley and cilantro)  it is thought to have originated in southwest Asia and on the Indian subcontinent.
The name dill from "dillan", meaning to lull, may have prompted the practice of giving dill to restless babies to make them sleep and associates the plant with  love, protection, blessings,  dreams, harmony, keeping secrets.
"Vervaine and dill
Hinder evil witches of their will." 

Owing to the number of seed the plant produces, dill is is also used in money spells and fertility and stimulates lust if eaten or smelled

Fennel, another mercurial herb with Air and Fire powers.  It was used by the Saxons and Jewish mystics as a purifying herb. Pliny attributed it with many medicinal properties. Greek olympians,  Roman gladiators and Germans, believed it gave strength, courage and longevity to those who used it. Midsummer rituals associated it with consecration, divination, energy,  and meditation.
‘He who sees Fennel and gathers it not is not a man but a devil’. 

Fennel was hung in doorways and stuffed into keyholes on Midsummer’s eve during the Middle Ages to protect houses against fire and evil. As a medical tea, it kept insanity and temptation under control in much the same way as garlic was used to scare vampires away. Fennel followed colonists to the New World.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Anna Atkins - Exhibition Sheet

Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman | Collaborative Projects |
About the process
The process of cyanotype involves exposing paper that has been coated with a light-sensitive iron salt solution to UV light (sunlight). Any barrier to exposure (in this instance, the flowers) will be recorded as negative images and render as white shadows on the Prussian blue surface. This is the same process employed in making blueprints.
The original portraits were shot on 4 x 5 negatives, scanned and printed using digital printing methods. The prints were then coated with cyanotype solution, botanicals were arranged on the surface and the coated portrait exposed to sunlight for 3-5 minutes. A water rinse clears the chemicals and the areas that were blocked by the botanicals reveal parts of the underlying portrait.
Honoring Anna Atkins
Anna Atkins (1799-1871) was trained as a botanist, botanical illustrator and naturalist. She is often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images and the first woman to create a photograph. She learned the cyanotype process from Sir John Hershel, a family friend, who invented the process in 1842.
Atkins self published her photograms in the first installment of Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in October 1843. Eight months later, in June 1844, William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature was commercially published and released. Her efforts established photography as a medium for scientific documentation — her compositions were beautiful as well as useful and accurate.
Atkins’ subsequent botanical albums include Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Ferns (1853) and Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Flowering Plants and Ferns (1854).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review Santa Fe - 30 May through 4 June 2012

Arrived in Santa Fe and settled into our gracious and delicious accommodations at the IHM Retreat Center. 
Very lovely, but it got hectic....

A History of St. Francis at Taos

We had lunch in Taos, but the famous, photogenic and sculpturally compelling San Francisco de Asis Mission Church had fallen into disrepair. Other favorite images of came to mind....
4 June 2012  Ciurej & Lochman

Joseph Tornick

Georgia O'Keefe

Paul Strand

Engineered Food Series_copyright-by James Soe Nyun
Untitled, from the series,  Age of the Domiciles, 1983,  Ciurej & Lochman Photo
repairs finished February 2013

Center For Fine Art Photography - Ft. Collins CO

May25-June 23,2012
Alternative Processes exhibition curated by Christopher James
The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, Colorado

Juror’s Statement for Alternative Processes
Without hesitation, I will tell you that I had a wonderful, and exhausting, experience considering the nearly 1000 pieces of work that were submitted for the Alternative Processes exhibition at The Center for Fine Art Photography. It was a complicated process selecting a cohesive show of 50 images that simultaneously illustrated the excellence of the work and the concept I was constructing in the process. My inclination was to select work that was challenging and that invited me to create “with” the image rather than to simply identify its subjective content, or demonstrate technical finesse. I chose work that, for me, clearly differentiated between the camera’s ability to record, and what the photographer intended to communicate. I was looking for clearly enunciated concepts and intentions. For example ....
Imagine standing on the Mallory Square Pier in Key West preparing to make a stunning cliché of the sunset, with hundreds of other people intent on the task with their cameras and telephones with photo apps. In that moment you have a choice. You can see this sunset event from an ironic perspective by creating an image of all those people making the same picture in unison, their flashes collectively bouncing off the surface of the setting sun to assure a better exposure of the experience... or, you can just go along with the tourists and take the shot of the glowing red sky to send to friends on Facebook. Both approaches to that moment will document a Key West sunset but the first option will transcend the archetypal Mallory Square experience by illustrating the personal and conceptual impressions of the photographer... and not simply the camera’s manufactured ability to capture reflected light.
There is a rapidly growing army of alternative photographic process artists who regularly impress one another with extraordinary technique and command of alternative process syntax. Their triumphs are measured by the success of their calculations, formulas, and clarity of tonal scale. To be sure, these are admirable geeky skills. But remove the alternative process materials, and the funky equipment, from the observation and imagine that you are looking at a conventional silver gelatin or digital print. How would you then respond to the content and concept of the subject or image?
To often the answer is that the work is impressive because of the technique rather than the visualization and inspirations that instigated and led to the image. This is often my experience when jurying... or evaluating portfolios to my BFA and MFA programs at AIB. Out of 1000 images for this show, there were only a handful of examples where the artist actually failed to represent themselves, or their craft, well. The distinctions became clarified when the quality of the technique was assumed and admired and the critical conversation shifted to concept, creativity, and the image in context with process. At that point, I responded to the mystery within the image and the intelligence, and heart, that I felt in the artist’s work... exactly the same criteria that are relevant to all forms of artistic expression.
We are in an interesting time for our medium. Photography is evolving into something entirely new. From an alternative process perspective, a better than suitable marriage partner to most all of the hand‐ made and performing arts that are willing to see what will happen if they take the plunge. To the upcoming generation of photographic artists, schooled with the pixilated sterility of digital imaging, and a social networking aesthetic, using one’s hands to make an image is a persuasive argument simply because it is imperfect... and as a result, a profound and precise reflection of us all.
I am absolutely pleased with this show and want to add that like most juried exhibitions, this selection of work is only a representation of the juror’s personal preferences on the given days of looking at it... and the specific desires of the host gallery. It is hardly ever a definitive critique on the merits and artistic qualities of the images submitted. This is certainly true when considering how much I wanted to includethe extra 48 images that I had in my “wish‐I‐could” folder.... I simply ran out of room. Thank you for showing such outstanding imagery and thanks to Hamidah for the opportunity to jury such a great collection of work and to Nicole for her assistance in the process.
Christopher James 
University Professor 
Director M.F.A. Program in Photography Department 
Chair / Photography 
The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review Santa Fe - Recap

After Review Santa Fe, an inspirational browse at Photoeye Bookstore before we left town.

 We headed north to visit friends and old haunts, eat burritos and drink margaritas.

Stayed with Leigh and Jamesat Ocho in Espanola,

gasped at the dingle-ball landscape

and attended the Virginia Starquist memorial tour at Blueberry
Hill in Taos.

Review Santa Fe - New Friends

Thanks to the Center!
Erin Azouz, Programs Manager
Laura Pressley, Executive Director

Not only did we enjoy the company of our friends from the Midwest,
Julia Kozerski
Jon Horvath
Tara Bogart
Patty Carroll

We saw the work of many amazing photographers,
Linda Alterwitz
Catharine Carter
Alejandro Cartagena
Johathan Saruk
Andrew Beckham

Peter Blakely
Elizabeth M.Claffey
Aaron Wojack
Chantal Heijnen
Dona Schwartz
Lottie Hedley
Daniel W. Coburn
Marie-Jose Jongerius
Leslie Meyer
David Emitt Adams
Keliy Anderson-Staley
Marisa Portolese
Yael Ben-Zion
Samantha Box
emily Berl
Ethan Rafal
Lauren Greenwald
Cristina de Middel
Samantha Box
Ben Owen

and spoke with the reviewers.

George F. Thompson
Melanie McWhorter
Anne Kelly
Rebecca Senf

Kelly Blair
Chuck Mobley
Katherine Ware
Sara  Bader
Joanna Hurley
Denise Wolff
Elisabeth Biondi
Amber Terranova
Terry Etherton
James Kelly
Chuck Mobley
Christoper Rauschenberg
Verna Curtis
Linda Durham
Michelle Penhall
Katherine Ware

Klompching Gallery, New York NY

July 25 through 20 August 2012