The Story Behind "Tower" ... by Amy Rockett-Todd

 "Tower" ferrotype mosaic assemblage.  MANUS portfolio.  Amy Rockett-Todd 2014.

"Tower" ferrotype mosaic assemblage.  MANUS portfolio.  Amy Rockett-Todd 2014.

 "Tower" (detail).  Amy Rockett-Todd 2014.

"Tower" (detail).  Amy Rockett-Todd 2014.

My design and architecture background helps guide my artistic endeavors, which led to this new work, MANUS, combining art, architecture and photography.  With the creation of each piece, I am inspired by historic buildings in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

The Tower piece is based off of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower in Bartlesville, OK.  There are 8 image sections symbolic of the 8 residential balcony levels within this building.  The images are adhered to a 30.60.90-degree triangular substrate.  The angle degrees match the angle degrees used within the Tower’s structure, as all angles within the building are either 30.60. or 90 degree angles.  The 8 (4x5) ferrotype images on the right of the piece are abstracted images taken digitally directly from the exterior of the site, then printed onto OHP film and exposed via the wet plate collodion process in the darkroom.  The 8 ferrotype images on the left of the piece are abstracted ginkgo leaf images, symbolic of Frank Lloyd Wright’s beloved ginkgo tree.  He had his home and studio originally built around his beloved ginkgo tree.  This piece stands roughly 4 feet tall and includes 16 one-of-a-kind ferrotype images.  The ginkgo images have all been hand-tinted with archival pastels in oranges, yellows, and blues, and have been varnished with a sandarac lavender oil varnish, as all of my collodion images are sealed with this protective varnish layer. 

Most of the architecture-based pieces in the MANUS portfolio are directly born from a building's design.  It's aesthetics and structure is reflected in the way each art piece is photographed, designed, and created.

"Elizabethan Ruff" image at LightBox Gallery ... by Amy Rockett-Todd

 "Elizabethan Ruff"  -  Amy Rockett-Todd 2014.

"Elizabethan Ruff"  -  Amy Rockett-Todd 2014.

My image "Elizabethan Ruff" is included in LightBox Gallery in Astoria, Oregon ... in their Mobile Magic exhibit from Nov 8 - Dec 12, 2014.

The twenty-five juried images will remain in an online gallery for one year and will be available for sale at the set price of $35. Prints are printed by LightBox using 100% cotton rag stock and archival pigment inks, on paper size of 5.5” x 8.5” and mailed to the buyer.

This is a great opportunity to begin collecting fine art photography at such a discounted price ... and to boot, its printed by a quality national gallery.

http://lightbox-photographic.com/mobile-mag…/mobilemagic_xiv

The Story Behind “Abundant Life” … by Amy Rockett-Todd

 "Abundant Life" ferrotype mosaic assemblage.  MANUS portfolio.  Amy Rockett-Todd 2014.

"Abundant Life" ferrotype mosaic assemblage.  MANUS portfolio.  Amy Rockett-Todd 2014.

 Abundant Life Building on South Boulder in Tulsa, Oklahoma, built in 1957 for Oral Roberts Ministries.

Abundant Life Building on South Boulder in Tulsa, Oklahoma, built in 1957 for Oral Roberts Ministries.

My design and architecture background helps guide my artistic endeavors, which led to this new work, MANUS, combining art, architecture and photography.  With the creation of each piece, I am inspired by historic buildings in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

“Abundant Life” in the MANUS portfolio, was inspired by a building in Tulsa called Abundant Life.  It was built in 1957 to house Oral Roberts Ministries.  I found it curious that an evangelist healer would build a structure devoid of any windows.  The exterior is clad with triangular facets with small golden adornments central to the façade.  Contrary to many beliefs that gold was used symbolically for his “riches”, gold is said to be the only color that the color-blind Roberts could differentiate from all other colors. 

MANUS’ “Abundant Life” consists of 46 ferrotype triangles.  Each triangle was contact printed with an enlarger.  They are each 2.5 inches.  Alternate triangle pairs are mounted onto thick plex mounting blocks, which are acrylic-welded onto a sheet of clear plex as the final substrate.  Then matted and framed in a 3 inch thick white-washed maple box frame.  The overall framed piece measures 36x40. 

Each triangle’s imagery is an abstracted design, digitally captured from the building.  The building was abandoned in the mid 70s and has been in a continual state of decay since.  Walking around the building, smells of rotting materials escape the large rear grade-level vent, as well as from the slight overhang around the perimeter of the building.  There is a mail chute on the south side of the building that has been boarded over and has “WASTE” handwritten on it.  (This “WASTE” image is hidden on one of the “Abundant Life” triangle art pieces.)  I added hand-painted gold details on a singular triangle art piece for the golden adornment on the façade.   The triangular pieces are also falling from the building, leaving gaps on the building’s skin.  This is also reflected in the visual arrangements of “Abundant Life”. 

Most of the architecture-based pieces in the MANUS portfolio are directly born from a building's design.  It's aesthetics and structure is reflected in the way each art piece is photographed, designed, and created.

 

 

MANUS ... Oct 3 - 25, TAC Gallery Tulsa OK by Amy Rockett-Todd

Manus : Solo Exhibition at TAC Gallery (Tulsa Artists' Coalition) October 3 - 25, 2014  

Opening Oct 3 from 6-9.

Manus explores the relationships between the hand and technology fusing Rorschach-like imagery of architecture and flora, visually interjecting the hand as the conceptual spine of the work.  Weaving historical photographic processes with digital photographic processes of today,  Amy creates a dialogue between time with her abstracted collodion images.

TAC Gallery  9 East Mathew B. Brady St.  Tulsa,  OK  74103   www.tacgallery.org

Art. Architecture. And Photography ... Inspiration! by Amy Rockett-Todd

 Individual ferrotypes awaiting final varnishing, to be assembled into a 3D relief composition.  Title: Abundant Life.  2014.

Individual ferrotypes awaiting final varnishing, to be assembled into a 3D relief composition.  Title: Abundant Life.  2014.

This idea of combining art, architecture, and photography has been floating around in concept form internally for years.  Without concrete direction and only free-thinking inspiration, I had begun to gather images … of buildings.  Of trees.  The way structure interacts with its surroundings.  New structures. Old structures.  Their presence today.  Their history over time and how they interact with the present.  Abandoned. Or in use.  Their primary purpose for being built.  Their lifespan.  Exterior adornments – or none. 

I notice the way a root peeks out from a sidewalk slab beside a building’s foundation.  It peers out and reinserts itself back into the sidewalk joint.  On its way.

I suppose the observations themselves intrigue me.  I’m not one to attach myself to a cause or any platform.  I just want to see.  To interpret.  And to create. 

I love to learn.  Learning is a risk.  It involves admitting when you don’t have all the answers.  It involves self doubt, openness, and vulnerability.  It also involves great rewards and answers to come.

As I have taken a step towards this combination of mediums and past inspiration … I have discovered a lot of new (to me) creatives along the way.  They have become unknowing cheerleaders for the work I am currently creating.  Some of these artists have passed on, yet their work continues to speak.  To inspire.  To give new direction.  And thought. 

I soak it all in.   

Now, add to this a fascination for geometric order.  In terms of photography, Neal Cox’s pinhole work ticks all these boxes.  He builds pinhole camera structures based on geometric grids and allows the structure to capture views from the multiple vantage points within his pinhole camera structures.  For him, math meets science meets photography.  The resulting images are incredibly beautiful segments of geometry, reassembled to form glimpses into the particular moment and location in which his constructed mathematical contraption sat.

I have rediscovered Neo-Concretism, a Brazilian arts movement.  The work of artists Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica, and Gego really excite my spacial sensibilities and touch on art as a form of therapy … sometimes becoming interactive, and always inviting the viewer to become a part of the work.

The grid pieces of Emma Kunz and Agnes Martin also come to mind.

Laurent Millet’s work was introduced to me by friend and colleague, Antonia Small.  And I am creatively indebted to her for it.  Millet seems to find a way of interpreting spacial arrangements into constructed geometries and photographs them using wet plate collodion.

It's a good feeling to open up to new ideas and new work.  I look forward to soaking up more!

Being "in it" ... by Amy Rockett-Todd

 2.5" isosceles triangle ferrotypes drying after final wash

2.5" isosceles triangle ferrotypes drying after final wash

 Acrylic pieces awaiting welding as mounting substrates for triangle ferrotype mosaic assemblage.

Acrylic pieces awaiting welding as mounting substrates for triangle ferrotype mosaic assemblage.

Being "in it" ... 

When you are “in it” … it is difficult to see anything beyond the “it” … or even things nearby.  Everything else is just that.  Else.  As I have been “in it” (“it” being preparations for my first solo exhibition in nearly a decade),  I have taken process snapshots along the way so that one day when I am no longer “in it” I may be able to take a step back and see exactly what that “it” was all about. 

About.”  Now that’s a completely different topic that I will need to delve deeper into later … as I have also gathered multiple inspiration ideas and concepts from other artists’ works and am extremely excited to share those! 

For now, here are some images from the “in it” phase of creating.


UPCOMING ... 

Manus : Solo Exhibition at TAC Gallery (Tulsa Artists' Coalition) October 3 - 25, 2014  Opening Oct 3 from 6-9.

Manus explores the relationships between the hand and technology fusing Rorschach-like imagery of architecture and flora, visually interjecting the hand as the conceptual spine of the work.  Weaving historical photographic processes with digital photographic processes of today,  Amy creates a dialogue between time with her abstracted collodion images.

TAC Gallery  9 East Mathew B. Brady St.  Tulsa,  OK  74103   www.tacgallery.org

Baker's Dozen : A Pinhole Dialog ... by Amy Rockett-Todd

Baker's Dozen : A Pinhole Dialog

What began as a trek through the woods towards Fairy Beach, with canned chairs atop the heads of her children, fusing the path of two wellie-wearing women… Amy Rockett-Todd met Antonia Small on that rocky beach the summer of 2012.   As Jack, Antonia’s jack russell, perched himself atop a nearby rock, the two discovered they were both “pinholers”.   A chance meeting on a quiet empty slip of land, which isn’t even visible at high tide, the two found themselves stepping into a pinhole dialog that would span almost 2000 miles and 13 months.  They began in April 2013, on Worldwide Pinhole Day, shooting images specific to their own artistic visions as well as the contrasts of their varied regions… the flatlands of Oklahoma and the rugged coast of Maine.  Their project shooting wrapped up on pinhole day, April 2014.  

Image pairings and an interview article by Kai Behrmann of Top Photography Films (topphotographyfilms.com) can be seen via the link below.  The two continue their pairings through the end of 2014.  Stay tuned for future image pairings.

http://www.topphotographyfilms.com/contemporary-photography/pinhole-photography-project-bakers-dozen/

The Backstory of Slow Tide ... by Amy Rockett-Todd

 Slow Tide.  Amy Rockett-Todd 2012.

Slow Tide.  Amy Rockett-Todd 2012.

It's the backstories of images that get to me. This one is no different. The ending image is not the image that stays with me when I look at this one.  It's the image of my (then) 10 and 11 yr old children walking through quiet Maine pines with wooden chairs atop their heads, at times obscurred from my siteline ... legs, rungs, and spindles bobbing in the air down to the shoreline, the gentle lapping of tide growing louder.  Of youth going out.  And age coming in.