Tamsen Wojtanowski, Shelter

Tamsen Wojtanowski, Shelter, 110 Church Gallery

“Her preferred mediums are photography, mixed media, and assemblage. In her personal research she is interested in the accessibility and malleability of the photographic medium. In her studio she works with a number of different materials and processes to create autobiographical images, with an interest in our natural human disposition of storytelling.” – Tamsen Wojtanowski

Shelter by Tamsen Wojtanowski at 110 Church Gallery transforms the art space near the river into a dream-like landscape of real yet unreal habitats. The rich blue tone is cyanotype, a photographic process using two chemicals: ammonium iron(III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide on paper which is left to dry, when the paper is exposed to light it turns cyan blue. Using photographic negatives the exposure of light can be manipulated. Tamsen creates model sets instead of negatives, controls the light source onto the paper creating an image with geometric shapes and wispy echoes of shadow.

Tamsen Wojtanowski, Shelter

Tamsen WojtanowskiShelter, 110 Church Gallery

Heavy Bubble says, “The symbols in her vocabulary repeat, lean, and stack defining a space that has dimension, yet is ethereal. The nature of cyanotypes and the paper she uses invoke luscious and tactile moments. The longer you stand among them these landscapes and structures in this exhibition create a delicious dream-like state.”

The landscapes are dreamy, evoking multiple emotions through use of color, symbols and composition. The house shapes remind me of childhood, blue is my favorite color, the cyanotype process is magical, and the narrative resonates as authentic. These places in the cyanotypes seem real. Landscapes come to mind in so many layers, the cyanotype solution is packed with information particles and packets of memory from a lifetime. The fifth chakra is blue over the throat allowing communications of thoughts and feelings, the blue scenes throughout the gallery express a deep inner creativity.

“This body of works-in-progress started as a collaboration piece between myself and friend Lewis Colburn. Lewis is a maker of objects and was working on a series of miniatures, details from the Philadelphia historic Traction Co. building, with which he was enamored. From the models, I was put to task creating a series of cyanotype ‘portraits’. We were interested in exploring how many different ways there were to see and experience a place.” –Tamsen Wojtanowski artist statement 

Tamsen Wojtanowski, Shelter

Tamsen WojtanowskiShelter, 110 Church Gallery Philadelphia, PA 19106 267 871-9375 through November 22nd.

Shelter has stuck in my mind, I went back twice to see the cyanotypes and experience the deep blue. The color stirs thoughts of science, spirituality, and inspiration. The compositions add layers of memes and memories to the blissful peace of cyan blue.

Thank you to 110 Church Gallery for producing show after show of beautiful, expressive and challenging art by exceptional artists.

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer, Except where noted.

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