Pictura Gallery

Nicole Campanello & Elizabeth Stone

Nicole Campanello | In the Interim

Elizabeth Stone | POSTIVE/NEGATIVE

Many photographers wonder, as we encounter a shoebox full of slides or negatives - what are we going to do with all of these old photographic materials? They are a keepsake and a burden, a treasure and our personal junk. Some are a representation of creative efforts past, and also something that we may never have brought to its potential, possibly a source of regret or failure. Elizabeth Stone says to these “what can I make of you? What new space? What beauty?” Stone photographs her old negatives to create an entirely new image. The resulting landscapes are dreamscapes, open lands for the eye to rest and the mind to meditate.

Elizabeth’s images unfold a mystery- upon what bones are these beautiful and ephemeral landscapes built? Is their source DNA plucked from projects that spoke of darker themes and harder times? Have they been repurposed into something beautiful and peaceful? It’s akin to discovering a painting hidden under another painting. It begs the question, how does knowing what is beneath alter what you can see? Maybe what is beneath no longer matters. Or perhaps, more important than that, it’s the wondering that is interesting. By taking apart old photographic materials - literal memories - Stone authors a new and open, washy transitional landscape and with it, an expression of something new.

Nicole Campanello, on the other hand, is charting an internal landscape. She pulls emotional pieces from a transitional time in her life to craft her scenes. Although her photographs are refreshingly bright, and the frames are filled with white, the character is often hiding in an implied darkness. The light seems to represent an absence or isolation, or perhaps it’s a benevolent space for healing. Campanello describes this emotional space as a time between times. It’s that liminal and awkward place between an ending and a new beginning. Her images invite us in and allow us to wander this grey area with her.

Both artists crack open a box of uncertainty - to see what it looks like in there. We are invited to wander through their worlds- where time is undefined and gravity is uncertain. Here feet hover magically in mid air, and we can fly from mountaintops to moonscapes.

Nicole Campanello is an artist working in staged photography. A visual storyteller by nature, she creates narrative images based on her life experiences. Nicole grew up in the countryside of Yorkshire, in the UK. There she developed a sense of adventure, an inventive imagination, and a love for the arts. Drawing became a passion of hers as a young child, which evolved into photography during her teen years. At the age of 16, she moved back to Texas, her birthplace, where she went on to obtained her BA in Photography. Nicole’s work has since gained recognition; winning awards, featuring in several publications, and shown in gallery exhibitions across the United States, as well as internationally.

In the Interim | Artist Statement

How do we get from one stage of life to the next? Is it as easy as walking through a door, or more like crossing through a passageway between two doors?

I believe we have a transitional period, like an interlude between acts of a play. It may pass in the blink of an eye, but can sometimes feel like a lengthy trek through unfamiliar terrain. Because, as humans, we feel uneasy when confronted with a void. We see it as an unimaginable emptiness in us that must be occupied. However, it is a time of healing from the past; rediscovering things forgotten; putting experience into much-needed perspective. It’s a time of preparation for our emergence at thenext doorway.

The images in this series depict such a period in my own life–my own “interim” following the end of an unhealthy relationship. It was both challenging and rewarding; a time of stillness,realization, and learning; a place of healing, growing, and searching for that next stage.

Elizabeth Stone is a visual artist whose work explores perception, mark making and the passage of time by combining her study of photography and drawing with biology and digital technology. The duality of art and science is a strong influence and she frequently looks to the natural environment as a point of departure when considering her own place in the world and the marks she makes. Influenced by artists as diverse as Harry Callahan, Cy Twombly and Agnes Martin, she uses a strict practice to push what is expected of the photographic medium.Stone’s work has been exhibited in art museums and galleries across the country and her images are held in both private and corporate collections. She lives and works in rural Montana where the sky is indeed big and the grass tall.

NEGATIVE/POSITIVE | Artist Statement

NEGATIVE/POSITIVE is an ongoing meditation on light and perception. The source of exploration is my photographic analog materials. Looking purely at the physicality of these slides and sheets of film has catapulted me into a new realm of expression. I strive to walk the edge of focused detachment as the materials have a memory, energy and direction of their own. I have disassembled thousands of 35mm slides and medium and large format pieces of film. I have piles of plastic negative sleeves that held the film and slides in place, empty slide mounts which appear like structural containers and film –my insides, dreams and memories. Small temporary sculptures are then built as I balance the sleeves, mounts or film. There is no glue nor clay. It is a tricky balancing act akin to making a houseof cards. I then photograph the sculptures; the light comes solely from my two old light-boxes. Inside these boxes the bulbs are aging; they emit color that ranges from blue to apricot. As with analog photography, I consider both the “negatives” and “positives” that are created, each has their own intrigue. Structure becomes apparent, forms emerge from the edges. I am transfixed and obsessed with the inherent deceptive and transformative power of the medium of photography.

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