The American poet Robert Duncan described the process of composing poetry as an open field --as though words formed their meaning directly and concretely on this "landscape made of paper." I have always felt the visual experience, landscapes, architecture, ancient forms and the monoprints I create from these places as an open field sensitized to whatever I could bring to it and receive from it. Photographing and printing has always been an act of transformation from the literal to the imagined, and from the seen to the felt.
A note on the process:
All tonalities in these monoprints are inherent in the black & white paper itself. No color is added.
I shoot black & white film and develop a traditional silver chloride print. After the print is developed and before it is fixed, I put the print through a stop-bath then squeegee off the excess water and place the print onto a sheet of glass under a bank of incandescent lights. I begin "fogging" the print by exposing the paper to light which alters the tonalities of the unfixed print. As the print continues to light fog, I 'paint' by applying the fixer locally, and that acts as an immediate stop to the fogging process. This is a fluid process with water, developer, and fixer constantly interacting.
After fogging is complete, I may choose to selectively tone the silver prints with permanent metal toners such as gold chloride, selenium and sulfide. These toners react chemically with the silver and create a new range of tonalities; from the reddish brown of selenium to the midnight blue of gold chloride. In addition, I sometimes use selective bleaching for subtractive tonalities.
As the process is extremely fluid, the result of this work is difficult to pre-visualize, and often I cannot see what the final tonal results will be until the print is completely dry. With this method of printing, I feel the notion of the monoprint is more or less absolute since I'm unable to duplicate the form, emotion and structure of any previous print.
I do not edition my work as these are monoprints, however, I can produce further images from the same negative, and I will designate these with a subsequent "letter" such as B, C, etc.. Larger prints are designated with a double letter such as 'AA'. I normally make between 1 and 5 prints over the course of time.
Exhibition catalogue available, please inquire:
|All images copyright June Bateman Fine Art and individual artists. Reproduction by permission only. |
Prices are for unframed prints unless otherwise indicated.
All prices subject to change without notice.