Photographer Diana H Bloomfield is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of these images. From the ongoing series ‘Figurative’. To see Diana’s body of work, click on any photograph.
I began this ongoing series of my daughter, Annalee, nearly 25 years ago. These particular images work as narratives. Whether alone or in combination, they have a story to tell. As metaphorical portraits, they suggest the essence of a person, rather than offer any literal interpretation. I like to think of these as visual vignettes that suggest half-remembered, fragmented dream worlds. They borrow from the past, my ever-changing and skewed memories of that past, and fleeting moments in time.
These multi-layered prints and the frequent use of pinhole and toy cameras offer a sense of movement and fluidity. The repeated layerings of a gum bichromate print are meant to add a tonality and a saturated richness, yet each layer added also serves to remove all the hard, clearly defined edges and sharp clarity. A softness and ambiguity results- in much the same way we see and remember.
These images are printed in historic 19th century printing processes (gum bichromate, platinum, or cyanotype, and sometimes a cross combination). Each layer is hand-brushed on watercolor paper. When dry, a negative is placed on the paper, exposed to UV light, and developed in water.
Artist Statement: For me, photographs are all about the past. Even when I photograph to make a statement about the present, or to comment on the future, the image itself— the one I’ve just made simply by opening and closing a shutter— is cemented in the past. And when I look at photographs, no matter whose photographs they are or when they were made, they inevitably conjure all sorts of memories. When I look at old photographs of my family, or even of myself, I am staring at tangible memories, often barely recognizing those people in the pictures looking back at me. And late at night, when I replay events that occurred earlier in my day, those events or conversations appear in my mind as a series of visual narratives— not all that clear or well-defined— and very much like halfremembered dreams. To help me create images that echo those visual vignettes, I often use pinhole or toy cameras. Unusual perspectives, long exposures, and a sense of movement and fluidity are inherent with these particular cameras. Consequently, I am better able to achieve those visual narratives of fugitive dreams and elusive memories. I choose to print in 19th century hand-applied printing processes. These antique printing techniques offer me creative freedom and infinite possibilities. They mesh well with my images, which are always interpretive. The repeated layerings and unintended misregistration of the gum bichromate process, in particular, remove all the hard and clearly defined edges, resulting in a softness and ambiguity— much the way we see and remember.
All images and text © Diana H Bloomfield
By Diana H Bloomfield
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I really enjoyed reading your post!
I love the photo ‘Entrance’