January 28 – March 26, 2006
I suspect these pieces chronicle the years my husband and I have been trying to start a family- a humbling journey.
The struggle to get pregnant has moved on to a surprisingly long wait for an adopted child. My emotional ups and downs are in the palette. Hopes and wishes appear in the light and in the drawings of plants reaching with out-of-season blooms. Barrenness and fertility seem to be elemental themes. The tides and swirling energetic forces join the atmosphere of the landscape and its emotional sweep.
I use an old Polaroid camera from the 1970’s and a film that gives me both a negative and a positive. The film acts slowly in the winter cold and tends to develop only half way, solarizing (reversing) the lightest tones. The photographs are mounted on wood and then sealed in translucent encaustic medium (bees wax w/ a resin hardener). I use etching tools to draw a response to the photograph, filling the etched lines with oil color. Several encaustic layers build an interpreted place, season, and time of day. This process obscures the work’s photographic origins, moving more toward the world of printmaking and drawing.
These landscapes come across as otherworldly, more like drawings of a place where twilight holds day and night in an odd balance; the seasons exist simultaneously; water, sky and earth remind each other of their common business. I am attracted to the inter-relatedness of it all, nature’s miracle of cooperation I allow myself to use a photographic image five times to see what happens each time depending on my internal landscape. I think of these “editions” as families, cousins, or siblings born with the same genes and destined to realize their own potential.
On January 2nd our son was born. We were notified the next day and picked him up a day later. In my new-parent daze of tiredness and elation, I am in love – a kind of love I haven’t felt before. This new tide of emotions is bound to change my work in ways I could never anticipate.
Fawn Potash, based in Catskill, NY, is a photographic artist, art educator, and arts administrator who is active in the developing art scenes of the Hudson Valley and New York City. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is represented by the Howard Greenberg in New York, the Anne Reed Gallery in Sun Valley, and the Elena Zang Gallery in Woodstock. Her work is in collections worldwide including the Bibliotech Nacional, Sony, Dow Jones, and Standard and Poors Asia. Potash’s work has received grant support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Puffin Foundation, the Bell Atlantic Foundation, Fuji, and Ilford Inc. Her imagery has appeared in national and regional publications including Harper’s Magazine, the New Yorker, Mirabella, and Art News. A monograph of her work is slated for release in 2006. For ten years, she has been an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, leading a criticism seminar for photography majors. She was the CPW on-site manager for the Woodstock Photography Workshop and Lecture series for twelve years.