Fall 2010 Issue

Arts & Culture

Inspired objects & thoughtful shapes

Nine photographers and seven graphic designers took part in the Senior Art and Photography Exhibition held in the Andy Gato Gallery April 30-September 5. Among the featured photographers was Kelsa Bartley, whose series “Precious Objects” focused on the emotive power of imagery.

The “precious objects” in the series, such as a book of poems by Robert Browning, or a rocking chair, are photographed using natural light and placed inside of old wooden boxes that “symbolize the connection between what people see of each other on the outside and what is really on the inside, in their minds and hearts.”

In keeping with that aesthetic, Bartley chose to process the images as cyanotypes, a photographic technique developed in the late 1800s which produces cyan-blue images. “The use of this technique, like many other older photographic processes, is literally becoming like fuzzy old memories, kept alive by those who choose to preserve them,” said Bartley, who noted that she found inspiration when she realized that it was not the “things she photographs that really interest her, but the feelings that are generated, the emotions that are conjured up, every time she presses the shutter.”

For her exhibition titled “Thoughts in Shape,” graphic designer Karina “Kiki” Cossio created a series of artist books. “These books are unique, handcrafted volumes containing poems I wrote about personal experiences and those of people close to me,” Cossio said. “Some of these past events have forced me to grow up sooner than would be expected. As a result, I find a distinct playfulness in my art. These shapes are amongst the first basics a child typically learns.”

To create the books, Cossio used terra-cotta-colored Canson paper and scored and folded each sheet with a bone folder. A bone folder, traditionally made of whale bone, is a bookbinder’s tool used to crease and create folds, score and burnish paper, and work materials into tight corners. The series paid homage to artist books, which are often published in small editions, though they are sometimes produced as one-of-a-kind objects known as “uniques.”