Friday, July 1, 2011

Brigitte Carnochan's Floating World

 Send a Message by Brigitte Carnochan

Allusions to poems by Japanese women of the 7th-20th Centuries
"While rummaging through a used book store in Princeton, New Jersey, I discovered a volume of haiku and tanka translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ikuko Atsumi in 1977. The poems were by Japanese women from the 7th through the 20th centuries and represent all the major styles during this period - from the Classical to Contemporary schools. I was immediately drawn to the poems, and as I read them - so allusive and rich in imagery - I knew that I wanted to make their photographic equivalents." - Brigitte Carnochan

The Floating World refers to the conception of a world as evanescent, impermanent, of fleeting beauty and divorced from the responsibilities of the mundane, everyday world. For the poets in this volume (whose names are calligraphed in each image) that world centered on love - longing for love and the beloved, mourning lost love, pondering its mystery. The beauty of the natural world - its flowers, landscape, the moon, and the changing seasons - serves as the primary metaphor.
Images of this series are printed on uncoated handmade Japanese Kozo or mulberry paper using archival Epson Ultrachrome pigment inks. The Japanese calligraphy was executed by Richard Man.

Immigrating to America from Germany with her family at the age of six, Brigitte fell in love with ballet, hoping to pursue a career as a professional dancer. In the real world, she first became a high school teacher then a university English teacher, and later worked in university development. Photography is her third career. She began working seriously in the medium twelve year ago, using friends from her dance classes as models. She has remained a dancer: “Dance provides me with models as well as therapy.”

She is also an avid gardener, which supplies her with many of her floral subjects. However, it is her hand coloring on traditional silver gelatin prints that she makes herself, that has captured the worldwide respect for her images. “Even though most people see the world in color, they do not see everything in the same exact colors. From an optical point of view, the colors we see depend on where we stand in relation to the object, where the sun is on the horizon, what color the walls are, or the tint of our glasses (or contact lenses), and so on. From a psychological point of view - everything depends on whether we are worried, elated, anxious, in love, lonely, distracted, or fully alert. For this reason, I often hand color my work, because the process allows me to interpret the essence of my subject according to my own imagination.”

Brigitte lives in Portola Valley, California, a town located in the coastal hills south of San Francisco. Her work has been exhibited in over two dozen individual and group shows across the country. Teaching workshops and giving university lectures has been a regular part of her life for the past decade. She is the recipient of numerous awards and is currently a board member of the Santa Fe Center for Photography.

Brigitte Carnochan's works can be viewed until July 11, 2011, at The Iris Gallery of Fine Art Photography in Boston, MA.

Brigitte Carnochan "Three Portfolios"  
May 31 till July 11, 2011
129 Newburry St.
Boston, MA