Christopher Colville | Surface Tension curated by Ariel Shanberg & Akemi Hiatt

“Gunpowder Moon”, 2010, from the series “Works of Fire”, unique gunpowder generated gelatin silver  print, 10×8″

Christopher Colville

Works of Fire consists of multiple series that are meditations on the dual nature of creation and destruction. The sub-series Meditations on the Northern Hemisphere employs the patterns of constellations in the night sky as a template for further contemplation. The images in each series are made by igniting small portions of gunpowder on the surface of silver gelatin paper. In the resulting explosion, light and energy abrade and burn the surface while simultaneously exposing the light-sensitive silver emulsion. I loosely control the explosion by placing objects on the paper’s surface, but the results are often surprising and unpredictable as the explosive energy of gunpowder is the true generative force behind the image. These fire prints visually reference celestial events with the residue of both creation and obliteration generated from a single spark.

Christopher Colville (Phoeniz, AZ) is a visiting assistant professor at Arizona State University. He earned his MFA in 2003 at the University of New Mexico. Christopher has had solo exhibitions at The Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA), The Kitchenette (Phoenix, AZ), Foto Week (Washington, D.C.) and others. His work was featured in group exhibitions at Art Intersection (Gilbert, AZ), RayKo Photo Center (San Francisco, CA), and Chelsea Art Museum (NYC). Christopher was the recipient of the New Photography Grant by the Humble Art Foundation in 2009 and his work is in the permanent collection of George Eastman House, the International Center of Photography and the Museum of Photographic Arts. In 2011 he released a self-published artist book, Movements and the Iceland Trilogy.