The chemistry, paper, enlargers, running water, and amber glow; all these things had a very tangible and powerful experience over the artist in the darkroom space. The materials and places needed a voice, to be displayed without or with minimal reference to a technically pure photograph. This series of works focuses on the darkroom and printing aspect of photography as a means for pure expression, as the camera and act of photographing takes backstage, or a supporting role. This is accomplished by tearing down the physical surface of the print and thus creating a new and equal focal point with the artists’ hand visible along with a printed image. The selection of camera produced images are not meant to be cohesive from piece to piece, but instead the images contain elements such as human figures, natural landscapes, and a deck of cards. These diverse elements relate to the human experience of the artist as they see the calming and routine properties of nature and the terrifyingly beautiful element of chance we deal with everyday.
An Evidence of Chance
In looking at those origins it is clear that what we now know as photography could also be described as an evidence of chance. Following in that vein of ‘chance’ and utilizing just the basic elements in photography, light, time, light-sensitive materials and photo-chemistry the artist has abstracted the medium and opened it up to a new way of seeing.
Questioning is where we begin understanding. Through this series the artist questions the very notion of what photography is, and what it has become since its invention in 1839. In looking at those origins it is clear that what we now know as photography could also be described as an evidence of chance. Following in that vein of ‘chance’ and utilizing just the basic elements in photography, light, time, light-sensitive materials and photo-chemistry the artist has abstracted the medium and opened it up to a new way of seeing.
This process began by turning traditional darkroom paper, the light sensitive material, into the camera itself. It was then either covered in black cloth and taken outside to expose and create a recognizable image or left outside and unprotected for weeks to months at a time to expose not only to light but also the harsh Texas environment to incorporate the element of chance. The paper cameras left to ‘chance’ were also manipulated through application of photo-chemistry, some before and some after their extended time exposing outside. This allowed for another element of chance in the work through the use of abstract expressionism.
Ross Faircloth is a Fine Art Photographer living and working in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex. He graduated in 2012 from Texas Woman's University with an MFA in Photography and in 2009 from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BFA in Photography. Ross grew up in Kaufman, Tx, a small rural town about 35 miles east of Dallas, he considers this beautiful, wide open and inviting landscape as a large influence on his growth and aesthetic as an artist. He works simultaneously with both traditional and experimental darkroom techniques, and new forms of digital media. His work focuses on using conventional photographic elements and processes in new and experimental ways. One through pure experimentation in the darkroom working with only light, photo paper, and photo-chemistry, the other through digitally capturing an image from a video game and then printing that image traditionally through the darkroom.
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