Mass Cultural Council and the New Art Center (NAC) will present the 2017 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows in Photography and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres on October 27-December 2, 2017, at the NAC. Marky Kauffmann, one of the exhibiting artists, explores spirituality and her own past through unique landscape photographs.
Landscapes and Prayers
Why do I make landscapes? The answer is twofold. In part, I make them because the outside world always seemed less dangerous than the inside world of my childhood. If I ever felt safe, it was outside. And partially, it’s because my grandmother created “landscapes” of a sort – beautiful flower arrangements – that captured my young imagination.
Tension and strife were constants in my family life as a child. To escape the discord, I would just go outside. In the local woods and parks, I found solace, something I rarely found at home.
I also make landscapes because I was influenced by my maternal grandmother, Ellen Gordon Allen, who traveled to the Philippines and China as a child in the early 1900’s, and who lived in Japan at the end of World War II. While in Japan, she became a skilled practitioner of Ikebana flower arranging, and upon returning to the US, founded Ikebana International, an organization dedicated to the promotion of Japanese flower arranging and Japanese culture. As a child, I was completely captivated by the Asian art in my grandmother’s home, and by her flower arrangements. The combination of flowers, branches, leaves, and rocks that she used to create her “landscapes” somehow made sense to me. And her use of line, shape, pattern, texture, color, symmetry and asymmetry mesmerized me.
I believe the combination of these forces in my life compelled me to become the landscape photographer that I am today.
The images in the Landscapes and Prayers series begin as silver halide prints that I bleach with potassium ferricyanide, utilizing various tools such as brushes and funnels, sometimes even salt and pepper shakers! The bleach allows me to create a unique and magical world. Within these landscapes, I find peace, and great comfort.
For more, see Marky Kauffmann’s work at the upcoming exhibition 2017 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows in Photography and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres.
New Art Center
61 Washington Park, Newtonville
2017 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows Invitational
Photography, Sculpture/Installation/New Genres
Opening Reception: Friday, October 27, 6-8PM
Exhibition Dates: October 27 – December 2, 2017
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 1PM-6PM, and by appointment.
The exhibition is free, open to the public and accessible to all.
Image credit: All images courtesy of Marky Kauffmann.