Struck by Light: What is a 21st Century photograph?
Ellen Carey, the U.S based experimental artist, posed a question to women photographers worldwide, in an open call hosted by Hundred Heroines in 2020:
‘What is a 21st Century photograph? And what does a 21st century photograph look like?
These questions found fifteen artists short-listed to participate in an online exhibition, Struck by Light, under the Hundred Heroines: Women in Photography platform whose focus is a global organization on women in photography.
‘Light’s immateriality challenges its makers today, analogue versus digital, doubles our challenges. It is here, in the early stages of modern and contemporary art with its roots in photography, that our work has context.’
Struck by Light, the gallery exhibition, features outstanding professional women in photography, presented at The International Festival of Experimental Photography in Barcelona and exhibited at Valid World Gallery, Barcelona is co-curated by Cristina Fontsare (Barcelona) and Megan Ringrose (Oxford, United Kingdom) IG: @struck.by.light
Both exhibitions highlight photographic creativity in our 21st century version of “The Linked Ring”* (*The Linked Ring was a British photographic society created to propose and defend that photography was just as much an art as it was a science, motivated to propelling photography further into the fine art world.)
Participating artists: Ellen Carey, Jessy Boon Cowler, Emilie Poiret-Brown, Nettie Edwards, Cristina Fontsare, Liz Harrington, Poppy Lekner, Ky Lewis, Anna Luk, Sonia Mangiapane, Megan Ringrose, Erika G Santos, Kateryna Snizhko and Lauren Spencer.
Ellen Carey is artist born and based in The USA. She is an educator, independent scholar, guest curator, photographer and lens-based artist, whose unique experimental work spans several decades. Photography Degree Zero names her large format Polaroid 20 X 24 lens-based art, which she began using in 1983 under the Polaroid Artist Support Program. Struck by Light (1992-2018) finds her parallel practice in the darkroom with the camera-less photogram, a process from the dawn of the medium, discovered in the 19th century by William Henry Fox Talbot, both photogram and the phrase drawing with light continue today. Her experimental investigations into abstraction and minimalism, partnered with her innovative concepts and iconoclastic art making, often use bold colours to create new forms. Colour and light are the link between her two practices; light, photography’s indexical, is used a lot or a little or none at all; its absence or zero.
Crush & Pull combines Polaroid and photogram using the Polaroid negative to create new abstract forms and blended hues with experimental approaches and innovative process-driven methods located in: chemistry-laden Polaroid pods and the light-tight colour darkroom. Here, Polaroid’s 20th century instant technology meets the wonder of 19th century photograms. IG @ellencareyphotography
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