My practice is informed by an experimental approach to early photographic processes and my interest in the materiality of the photographic medium. By recontextualizing the historic wet plate collodion process (19th century), I create camera-less image-objects on black aluminum that explore how observing Nature informs contemplation, perception, and identity.
The impetus for Elemental Forms, Landscapes, which initially emerged as a response to my immediate surroundings (San Francisco Bay Area), is anchored in a deep connection to the place. Spending time in nature and long walks comprise an important part of my artistic practice, and the abstract photogram work developed organically from this immersion in the landscape as I observe the changing patterns of light and forms.
The process involves placing cut and torn paper between the light-sensitive surface and a light source. As the paper blocks light, its shape is registered as a dark silhouette on the metal plate. To create effects and artifacts, I apply chemistry with spray bottles and brushes and scratch the wet emulsion. The resulting abstract landscapes seek to re-interpret, to look beyond, rather than to depict or transcribe.
All images ©Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer