Friday, January 20, 2012

Chorus. Is it done yet?

When I was in Graduate school at the University of Florida, I remember Jerry Uelsmann saying that if he used computers for his work, he would never no when he's done. He preferred the limitations of the darkroom (though limitations is probably the wrong word her - maybe framework?). I've been thinking about that a lot as I've been working on the image Chorus for what seems like forever.

Chorus, © Jeff Murphy 2012

 I was initially drawn to the tree scabs and the way they appeared like open mouths shouting or singing. So they have been a constant. The waves and water were more problematic. Despite the churning water and foam, I seemed to lack the dynamism I thought would be inherent in waves. Also, after the first few versions, where I struggled with placement of the basic elements, I realized I needed a focal point beyond the chorus of tree scabs.

Enter the anatomical structures. These were fabricated from individual diagrams - I couldn't tell you what they are were, but you could probably guess some of the elements. These felt like the remains of on old pier where the deck has long since washed away. I placed these anatomical constructions in a row to mimic this idea (the work is in part about how time buries things).

So I thought it was finished. Then I pulled it out again. Then I put it away. I realized I still didn't have te focal point I was looking for. So I reworked it again. Enter bird skeleton (curiously, as I was taking a break from the computer, my neighbor came by with another bird skeleton he had found at his church). Now it's really done. I think. I'm just going to go ahead and archive the file with my other slides so I won't be tempted.

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