Barbra Sanders artist’s website
La Hacienda de los Martinez
image size 21 1/4” X 16 3/8 inches
San Isadore Church
image size 21 1/8” X 15 1/4 inches
toil in repose
11 3/8” X 16 1/4”
edition of 10
Illusion is a dialogue between photography and museum dioramas. I’ve photographed a lot of that kind of thing and really considered the way the work talks about itself. I was also planning to use some stuff I photographed at the museum for my photo polymer plates, since our theme is “science,” so I’m really excited to find work by someone else who is exploring this same unique dichotomy.
Trace Nichols Artist Statement about Illusion:
While visiting the Denver Museum of Nature and Science several years back – camera in hand – I wound my way around to its numerous sets of dioramas. As with many other spectators there, I began to aim my camera through the glass and capture what I saw as compelling bits of story and history, hoping to create my own unique narratives. It dawned on me then that there was an interesting relationship between dioramas and photography, and how when combined a new dialog is formed.
When someone uses a camera to capture a diorama, what is the intention for that image: to express historic accuracy or to create individual fictions? Does the camera have the ability to inject life – a semblance of actual existence – into the constructed scene it captures?
In time, as I continued to explore these questions, my interest moved to a careful observation of what other visitors where seeing and doing when viewing these constructed spaces. I began stepping back a bit to include their presence within my compositions – not so outwardly as to make them identifiable, but rather a suggestion of their presence through a reflection, a shadow, a simple sign of the fabricated nature of the scenes.
My final addition to the dialog came in how I produced and presented the final images. Instead of printing them using contemporary means, I chose to use one of the most historic processes of photographic reproduction – the photogravure – to give the final images a more historic aesthetic, adding to its suggestion of authenticity – a record from the past.
As you view the works in this portfolio, think about these two methods we use to capture and recreate our realities. Consider how when combined, their union actually produces a more fictional narrative that is both drawn from our imagination and our innate desire to tell stories.
Intaglio Photogravure Prints from Luminograms
These hand-printed variable editions are made by applying multicolored oil-based inks and blending them directly onto the plate. The plate is then printed onto art paper from an intaglio press.
Hand-printed variable edition intaglio print on silk
Hand-printed variable edition intaglio print