I chose Leigh Anne’s work as best of show for Low Tech.
Her work sends me back to the elements of photography and proves it isn’t the camera or the object, but it is all about the idea.
With a background in science, I love a good primordial ooze, which is what this work reminded me of. But its really Leigh Anne’s creativity that really sparked my attention. Using household objects that are unrecognizable, she creates images that make magic.
Leigh Anne Langwell
I have always envisioned the core of the body as somehow illuminated—a self-contained lightning storm. Swirling clouds of charged ions pass through membranes and fleshy nets. The internal light of electrical fire flashes in milliseconds like the discreet pulses of stars conducted through oceans of saline and covering vast atomic distances. Similar to the simple repetition of four amino acid sequences or cells within systems and tissues, my images—often structured around an arrangement of simple elements—serve as codes that I use to understand, by metaphor and comparison, the workings of science and culture, poetry and beauty that are literally reflected in the cells structures and chemical memories of the body.
Because the images often do not look like traditional photograms a process description might be helpful. I build three-dimensional sculptures out of translucent and transparent materials in my studio. I bring the sculptures into the darkroom and arrange them on a sheet of photographic paper under a safelight. I expose the sculptures and paper to white light from a 10-watt bulb, penlights, and electroluminescent wire. Then I process the paper in photographic chemistry in the usual way. The image that one sees on paper is a reversed record of the shadows cast by the objects, their individual transparencies and material characteristics. Like an X-ray or a scanning electron micrograph, more information about the physical subject is revealed in a photogram than can often be seen with the naked eye.
Low Tech will be showing at the Center for Fine Art Photography through the month of October.