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Juror's Choice: "To Look For The Whelks"Juror's Choice: "To Look For The Whelks"JUROR'S CHOICE
To Look For The Whelks, 2023
Diana Bloomfield

Media: Cyanotype and marble paper (3-D)
Size: This is a 3-Dimensional piece, which- when closed- measures 7.5” H x 6” W (square). When fully open, this piece measures ~ 7.5” H x 22”
(The length is adjustable, depending on how wide it’s open. It is multi-hinged, and therefore movable, and the length can vary.)
Price: $1400

Artist Bio:
A photographer for nearly 40 years, Diana’s work has been internationally exhibited and widely published. She specializes in 19th century historic printing techniques, creating visual narratives which she interprets through her hand-made prints and one-of-a-kind artist books. Her images have been included in a number of books, including l’art du livre origami, by Jean-Charles Trebbi; Jill Enfield’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes; Christopher James’ The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes; and she is a featured artist in Christina Z. Anderson’s Gum Printing: A Step-by-Step Manual, Highlighting Artists & Their Creative Practice. Diana’s art is also in the permanent collections of the Norton Museum of Art, located in West Palm Beach, Florida; the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico; in the Collection at Montefiore Einstein, located in White Plains, New York; and in NC State University’s Gregg Museum of Art & Design.
A native North Carolinian, Diana lives and works in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she received her MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from North Carolina State University. She teaches workshops throughout the country, and in her beautiful backyard studio.
Diana is represented by photo- eye Gallery (Photographer’s Showcase), located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

My title for this “surprise box” is a line from the Mary Oliver poem, Whelks. These are images of found whelks that I discovered through the years, on a North Carolina barrier island. All the images and whelk details are printed in cyanotype on Japanese gampi paper. The background on the panels and the box interiors is marbled paper.

The basic structure comprises 4 hinged panels that create a box. The hinging allows this box to be opened, revealing even more boxes— suggesting kept secrets. A few origami paper whelks are included in some of the boxes. Those are folded with Japanese gampi paper from cyanotype-printed whelks, and others are made with the same marbled paper used elsewhere.
Maybe you’ve heard this story before, maybe not. I was in graduate school in 1993. I was taking a digital arts class or something of the sort and it involved the first Photoshop. There were no layers. And worse, there was no “undo” feature. No going back. Once you made a choice, well, you were stuck with it. I remember working on a file for 6 hours and then oops, a mistake, and no undo button. I thought about how the technology was going to change so much in the coming years…and I wasn’t going to roll with the changes. I was just going to concentrate on historical processes in grad school. I unfolded my wooden camera and got to work. And that’s what I’m still doing. Shooting a wooden field camera and Tri-x and making my own emulsion. So when the Photographer’s Eye Collective asked me to jury their (S)Light of Hand show, I thought, “Well, here are all the processes I love in one place.” And there are. Sublime platinum prints, deep blue cyanotypes, photogravures like graphite drawings, mordançage veils flowing, a rare bromoil, collaged and hand-stitched landscapes, unexpected lumens, impossible salt prints of birds and twigs and water, gold leaf and silver leaf backed vellum prints, artists books like you’ve never seen, a masochistic (and gorgeous) four-color gum bichromate print, and even collodion on a box camera. Really, this show is beyond my wildest imagination of what an historical process could be. The artists in (S)Light of hand pushed the boundaries of what an alternative process print could be. They weren’t satisfied to just scratch the surface; they experimented and then experimented some more and then realized that there was no point in putting a limit on what could be created or imagined and for that, I am thrilled.

Thank you to Donna Cosentino for inviting me to jury this year’s show and for reminding me what I love about photography and the hand-made print. It’s been an honor.

Ann Jastrab, June 2023

"Mono Lake""Three Beauties""Unspoken Words""Misty Forest""Drips And Branches""Suspended In Time""Hummingbird""Towhee"Director's Choice: "Autumn Burn Scar #1""California Burn Scar""Legacy, Waimai Canyon""Pink Hydrangea"Juror's Choice: "To Look For The Whelks""Waiting for the Fire Storm""Pentimento""Gobernadora""Conversation""Skipper's Pajamas""Bristlecone Pine""Bryce Canyon"