Adrift | Toned Cyanotype Photograph | 2013
Bear | Toned Cyanotype Photograph | 2011
Captive | Toned Cyanotype Photograph | 2012
Artist Statement: The photographs in the series The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter balance on the fine line between reality and the dream. I use self-portraiture to articulate personal narratives, which are often both nightmare and fantasy. Human, animal, and environmental forms interact in unexpected ways to symbolize discoveries and conflicts in my intimate relationships. I use the cyanotype process to suggest an alternative space, such as a dream or memory. This historic process obscures the subjects’ location in time and creates a backdrop for archetypal universal symbols. These images are toned with tea and wine to produce a range of additional warmer tones, making them seem more natural. I choose these substances for the acidic effect on the chemistry, as well as their influence on communication and memory. Although photography is normally considered a medium that represents the present, visible world, in my work I attempt to make visual what cannot be seen in place or time.
Emma Powell is visiting artist and lecturer at Iowa State University. Powell graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio, and received her MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work often examines photography’s history while incorporating historic processes and or devices within the imagery. With her most recent series, The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter, Powell uses the cyanotype process to create a mysterious backdrop for curious narratives.