Nadine Boughton: A Fractured Atlas
Over the next week/months, we are making room on Lenscratch to feature work that was slated for exhibition that is not making it to the walls. Nadine Bought0n was to open the exhibition, A Fractured Atlas, at the United Photo Industries Galleries in New York on April 2nd and run through May 1st. She also has work in these exhibitions that are currently unavailable for public viewing: Feminist Futurist, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA and Outspoken, Seven Women Photographers, Chester Gallery, New England College, New Hampshire
Nadine Boughton is a collage artist, photographer and poet. Her collages use imagery from vintage sources to explore the psychology, politics and polarities of mid-century America. Of late she has turned to hand-cut collage, using a wide range of materials and periods.
Boughton was selected for the Photolucida Critical Mass “Top 50” in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including UPI Gallery, Brooklyn; Newport Art Museum, Newport, MA; Candela Books + Gallery, Richmond, VA; Griffin Museum of Photography, Boston, MA. Her work has been published on-line and in textbooks, literary magazines and album covers. She was an IRIS lecturer at The Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA. Nadine’s work is represented by Matthew Swift Gallery, Gloucester, MA and is collected internationally.
Boughton grew up in Rochester, NY under the shadow of George Eastman’s Kodak Tower. She studied photography with Garry Winogrand, and at Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, and Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. She currently lives in Gloucester, MA.
A FRACTURED ATLAS
This series is a conversation with the element of water. Water as feeling, feminine, birth. Water as life, flow, the Tao.
To shape this project I began collecting children’s books from the 1940‘s-1950‘s while simultaneously clipping newspaper photographs of climate crises. I chose a process that served a more primal entryway into memory, making hand-cut collages. “Then and now” became a major theme, comparing the shifts in awareness and actuality from mid-century to our present global crises, our broken planet.
“Then” reflects a more direct experience of the natural world, life in the body before technology transformed our lives. This includes the experience of spaciousness, interconnectedness and wonder. A 1955 children’s book states with Zen-like simplicity, “They all looked at the rain.”
My focus on the element of water meant diving into emotion; this series became a personal expression of grief. Born at the end of WWll, I am witnessing our planet hurled to the brink of climate catastrophe within the lifetime of a single generation – my own. I witness the speed of change that includes worldwide migrations, and at present, a viral pandemic. We are in a rush to save the Tree of Life.
Emily Dickinson wrote, “Water, is taught by thirst.” Whether drought or floods we live in a fractured atlas. Just as the collage process draws on fragments to make a whole, this series became my “water prayers” for making our planet whole through gratitude, compassion and action.
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