Projects & Proposals
by Ellen Carey


 

My Sparkling Self

Ellen Carey, My Sparkling Self ––


Ellen Carey, My Sparkling Self
––

My Sparkling Self takes visual and conceptual cues for the project’s centerpiece from one of the first instant “selfies” (1977), a series of six Polacolor self-portraits by (and of) Ellen Carey, combined with “glitter” nail polish on each surface. This “sparkle” pre-dates the current “glitter” cultural vogue of beauty products (Revlon, Maybelline, Chanel, MAC) found in a rich range of brands whereby nails and the wearer’s polish are individualized. (more)

Read Complete Essay


Anna Atkins, Poppy, about 1852 Museum no. PH. 381-1981 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London ––


Anna Atkins, Poppy, about 1852
Museum no. PH. 381-1981
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
––

Women of Colour: 
Anna Atkins, Color Photography and Those Struck by Light
 

My research on the origins and history of color photography noted an absence that prompted a question: “Where would color photography and women practitioners be without the work of Anna Atkins?" The British Victorian, Anna Atkins (1799-1871), was the first woman photographer, albeit cameraless, and the first in color, using the cyanotype, a method that yielded a Prussian blue. Sir John Herschel, the British scientist, taught her his method. She partnered it with Talbot’s photogram (1834) — his paper negative image, a ghostly outline of the object, such as fern leaf or lace, in non-color, produced a palette of earthy browns. Gender codes of Atkins’ blue/feminine versus Talbot’s brown/masculine (italics mine) underscore these divisions of content, context, and concept, adding to the discourse around male and female sight. (more)

Read Complete Essay


Ellen Carey, Dings & Shadows 2015 ––


Ellen Carey, Dings & Shadows
2015
––

Disegno e Colore
 

The proposal covers an important 16th century dispute and argument among artists, including Titian and Michelangelo, between a “disegno e colore” — a drawing and a color — spontaneity contrasted with careful planning. The subjects of my project's title, Disegno e Colore, revisit and continue this discourse in photography. They complement my conceptual and contextual foundation in characteristics and processes, specific to the medium, as they relate to drawing vis-à-vis the cliché-verre method and to color, by way of the cyanotype process. These two vintage, cameraless techniques visually underscore rich, historical aspects of Disegno e Colore. (more)

Read Complete Essay


Ellen Carey, To Paris With Love 2015 ––

Ellen Carey, To Paris With Love
2015
––

To Paris With Love
 

To Paris with Love is a site-specific installation of 130 Polaroid negatives representing the total number of deaths in the recent Paris attacks, as well as the 12 killed in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, plus the 4 Jewish hostages who were murdered during a siege at a Hyper Cacher supermarket in a suburb of Paris. The large, grey negative is evocative of a headstone, while Polaroid’s matte patina echoes the lichen of the stone’s physical surface. The empty rectangle stands for the absence of the individual. In photography, a traditional portrait includes the person’s head and shoulder, a visual presence. Here, it is absent. (more)

Read Complete Essay