Kevin Dingman

11Oct09

 

Through the medium of photography I explore the emotions generated by abandoned, turn-of–the-century barns of the Midwest. These structures in most cases have outlived their usefulness in modern farming. Most are allowed to decay and return to the earth they occupied for so many years. Others have been rescued as monuments to the past, or at least as a memento of what was. 
 
My current work mourns the loss of the past and searches for the beauty that remains within the abandoned structures. I believe that light as a metaphor can be seen as the good times in our lives or even learning experiences where we make breakthroughs in understanding ourselves and life. The shadows take on the moodier side and the hard times in our lives where we tend to withdraw from society and stay to ourselves. This can be a time of growth as well, even in the darkness of the situation. In an image, what is not seen can be as strong as what is visible to the viewer.
 
I stand as a witness to the beauty of the spirit that is still within these structures and preserve that image in silver and pigment. The work is printed not only as the traditional Silver Print, but also with a historic process known as Bromoil.
 
The Bromoil process dates back to 1907 and was a popular medium for the pictorialist. In the mid-30’s the process began to die out with very few continuing to work in it. In recent years the process has experienced resurgence, along with other alternative photo processes such as Cyanotype and Platinum printing.
 
For this reason I find the Bromoil process and the barn project a perfect match for my work. Both are familiar with abandonment. Both date from the early 20th century, and both are being preserved so that future generations might know the beauty of its past.

(Sept 2006)

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