by Nathan Allen Wilkinson
Inkjet print from photogram - 21" x 14.5" (2021)
My artistic practice encompasses mixed-media, photography, and wood sculpture to explore the intersections and symbiotic relationships between mediums through layering imagery and technique. Fusing mediums’ aesthetics and formal techniques are my foundation for exploring abstraction, exponential duality, patterns, and structures of consciousness. I approach photography with a painterly framework with deliberate composition, lighting, and motion. My wood sculptures are hand-carved with a small gouge blade, influence my photographic process to consider the affects of form and space, and are used as multi-aperture lens-less cameras to create photograms. Crafting photograms with sculptures in the darkroom, then applying 20th-century darkroom methods – doubling, inversion, layering, and mirroring – in computer programs merges 19th through 21st-century photographic practices and 2D and 3D mediums. Conceptual and research-driven, my work engages with Christian Boltanski’s shadows, Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, Susan Kae Grant’s Night Journey, Carl Jung, Rosalind Krauss’ L’Amour fou: Photography and Surrealism, and Man Ray’s photography. Creating artwork facilitates my investigation of chaos and order to find meaning in existence through abstraction, embodiment, light, and shadow. The darkroom is integral to my work as a symbolic space for bringing order to chaos and interjecting chaos into order. My being and the material immersed in darkness, intermittent spells of light shining on us, and images revealing themselves from a void – white turns to black and preserving what’s necessary – embodies the journey of contending with the existential duality of chaos and order, light and shadow. This dualism is a universal symbol and human experience.