Feb 6-28, 2019

“Piece of Mind: An Exhibit on Mental Health”

Emerging Artists Collective

Peoria Public Library Main Branch, 107 NE Monroe St, Peoria, Lower Level 1

I’ve submitted a piece which is a bit of culmination of ideas rolling around in my head. 

Stereograph entitled “Pregnant Dreams”, produced for the Emerging Artists Collective show “Piece of Mind”

This piece, which I have titled previously as “What were you expecting?”, I’ve now renamed “Pregnant Dreams” in an effort to fit the theme of the show, which has a loose focus on mental health.

It’s not easy for me to even write a paragraph about mental health. I feel very lucky knowing that it’s not something I’ve needed to worry about for a long time. I have dealt with some serious bouts of depression in the past, and know that it’s good to recognize when times are good, and appreciate that that is just not the case for everyone. 

Last year, my wife and I were discussing what to do for a pregnancy shoot. We wanted something memorable. Something that we could embarass our kid with later. Because that’s what parents do. While visiting a couple of married friends, who always just have *something odd* at their house, a papier-mâché bird’s head mask just leapt out at me. 

“Can I borrow this???” I asked – of course, Dave agreed. Dave had made it for an art project, and loves to spur on bad ideas – he is an art teacher after all.

My wife also agreed – we had to use this mask for the shoot. I wanted to capture on film what she had expressed to me – the alien feeling of having another being growing inside of you, and no longer being in charge of your fate.

Since I’ve had the 6×13 ICA Polyskop for a little while, I’ve only been able to make contact prints. My first attempts at this yielded negative stereo images – looking into a reversed hollow shell of the world. Experimentation led me to understand that when displayed, the stereo images need to be transposed. Also, contact prints of twin 6×6 centimeter images are just that – 6×6 centimeter images. That’s really not even postcard size, and is hard to appreciate unless your nose is right up in it. While it’s the perfect size to make cards for stereoviewers, I wanted to do more with it.

Shortly afterwards, I was able to pick up a 4×5 enlarger from a local artist  and retired professor, Robert Rowe, who heads up the local Peoria Print Club. My dream for this enlarger was to allow me to make super-size stereo prints, so that a piece could be viewed either as just that – a piece of art photography, or something that you could interact with like a stereocard.

I was then able to find a stereoviewer which allowed just that – viewing of stereo images on something the size of a computer monitor. 

Everything then came together for this piece, allowing me to create and display a 16×20 inch interactive stereograph print that can either be viewed from across the room, or for a more immersive experience, using the viewer. 

I am hoping to expand on this concept in the future and possibly work on another show – maybe even pushing print size up even larger. We’ll see.

Gallery Placement for “Pregnant Dreams”, ICA Polyskop, Ilford HP5+, 800 ISO

Further reading:

A wonderful article written for sixtyinchesfromcenter.org  by Alexander Martin, co-founder of the Project 1612 Gallery: “Piece of Mind: The Growth of a Supportive and Nurturing Arts Community”

The Emerging Artists Collective Facebook page and Instagram