The April issue of Smithsonian Magazine features a photograph that I made on assignment in Washington, D.C. last November. I was invited by the magazine to make an image of the Green Book, a guide first published in 1937 for African Americans who traveled by car and needed to navigate the segregated United States. The magazine was started by Victor H. Green, a black postal carrier from Harlem. It began as a slim, 15-page directory with recommendations in the New York area and listed safe places for black travelers to visit. These included gas stations, hotels, beauty salons, golf courses and even individuals who welcomed people into their homes. The guidebook grew as people contributed to the directory and eventually this publication encompassed areas outside of the U.S. You can read the story here. The image was created using the wet-plate collodion technique, known as an Ambrotype, a photographic process that dates back to about 1851 and was used as documentary photography tool during the American Civil War. I have used this process for a variety of applications from magazine stories to personal projects.
Any ink is good ink and this morning I was pleased to read a review in The Oregonian of the group show that my work is in at the Froelick Gallery called, “Equine.” I made the piece that was curated into this show for my last exhibition, ” r e s t r a i n t.” When the gallery owner saw the piece, he decided to hold it for this show. The image is of a bridle with blinders and made with the wet plate collodion process. This piece has sold to a private collector, but I’ve included the image below and there is a link to the review here. It’s always satisfying when an arts writer understands the territory I’m negotiating with my work and this brief review is no exception. Thank you Bob Hicks!
"Horse Bridle with Blinders," 5x4", ambrotype, 2011
Since that show, I’ve been busily filling print orders and taking assignments and have not had a large enough block of time to get back into the wet darkroom… until now! Often I use my holiday card as a conceptually simplistic way to get my creative ball rolling again. I’m looking forward to continuing to work in the wet-plate process making not only ambrotypes, but also ferrotypes. Happy Holidays!