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BCA News: Spring 2019

Art + Science = Photography

Concurrently and coincidently there are two photography exhibitions, in two geographically different parts of the world, both highlighting the art and science of photography. Two BCA fellows have images in these corresponding exhibitions.

The A Smith Fine Art Gallery was established in 2010. The Directors are Amanda Smith and Kevin Tully. Their mission is to promote the photographic arts through exhibitions, workshops and the facilitation of an active vibrant community of photographers. They celebrate photography in all its manifestations, analog, digital and alternative.

The Exhibition Art+Science at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas, USA highlights a variety of works including those of Louis Schmidt laureate Norm Barker FBCA, Professor of Pathology & Art as Applied to Medicine, Johns Hopkins, School of Medicine. Norm has two entries in this exhibition.

© Norm Barker

An assemblage of Petrie dishes exemplifies the beauty often found in disease. His other entry of a stromatolite is scientific in origin, yet it could be interpreted as an abstract painting. Norm’s entries demonstrate the colour and beauty captured within the scientific arena and how these images can be read in so many different ways. The scientific data, important to one group of people, and yet to another audience with a totally different perspective a new meaning is given to the image.

© Norm Barker

Photographer Linda Alterwitz, the juror of the Art + Science Exhibition, states in her exhibition review in Lenscratch Fine Art Photography Daily, that “the interdisciplinary works shown in this exhibition use the convergence of art and science to exemplify transformative experiences. They represent an honest approach to image making, one that broadens our thinking beyond the norms of photography. It’s clear that science, especially with the aid of current technology, can provide artists with an abundance of imagery from which to work. Yet more important than producing aesthetic images derived from scientific data, science-inspired artists find connections that reflect a common purpose – one that integrates the authenticity of science and the communicative power of art.”

Ellie Young established Goldstreet Studios and Gallery in Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia in 1999. Now located in Trentham East, Victoria, Australia, Goldstreet is in its 20th year and is known throughout Australia, New Zealand and China as a centre of excellence for alternative and historic photographic print processes, with an emphasis on the handcrafted photograph.

Into the Dell © Danielle Edwards

The Print Exposed is a biennial exhibition now in its tenth year. This truly unique exhibition is aimed at encouraging the understanding, and appreciation for handmade alternative photographic prints, from historic processes that have evolved from the birth of photography. The basis and origins of the Print Exposed Exhibition begin with the science of metal salts that are sensitised and then hand coated onto high quality cotton papers. These papers are then contact printed with a negative and exposed to ultra violet light resulting in a photographic work of artistic merit.

The prints in the exhibition range in techniques with processes including, Ambrotype, Carbon, Casein, Chrysotype, Cyanotype, Gum bichromate, Gumoil, Hand colouring, Lith prints, Lumen, Mordancage, Orotone, Pinhole, Platinum/palladium, Palladium, Silver gelatin, and Tintype. All images utilise historical processes combined with modern digital techniques to create handcrafted photographs that marry science, art and technology.

The Sentinel (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)
© Danielle Edwards

Danielle Edwards, FBCA has two images in the exhibition. Both images have been taken with a digital camera converted for infrared capture and printed out in the platinum palladium process on hand coated Berger160 paper.

Mike Ware is a chemist and photographer from the United Kingdom who has pioneered the improvement of many historic photographic processes and is highly regarded as an experienced specialist within the field of alternative photography.

Concurrent with the Print Exposed exhibition, Goldstreet studios present the prestigious Mike Ware award for the combination of visual artistic merit, the craftsmanship of the work and the control of the scientific processes that create these images. This year the Mike Ware Award was presented to Danielle Edwards for the The Sentinel (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), a printed out, Platinum Palladium photograph. The original image being captured in infrared creates an incredible luminosity in the highlights, a true combination of science and art.

These two exhibitions demonstrate that the intersection between art and science continues to fascinate and captivate audiences and practitioners alike, all around the globe.

Both exhibitions are open during May 2019. For a truly tactile experience, attendance in person is recommended. If you don’t have an opportunity to go to the exhibitions, take a look at them via the links below. Check out the links below for dates and times.

A Smith Gallery

Goldstreet Studios

To find out more about Norm and Danielle’s artistic photographic experiences attend BIOCOMM 2019 to see and hear their presentations.

Further information for interest, click on the links below.

Mike Ware


Linda Alterwitz

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