The Cochenour Gallery brings to campus artwork by new, emerging, or experiment artists for the enrichment of the college and local community.
Tim McCoy: Sanctuary
Date: February 21st – March 28th, 2014
Opening Reception and Artists’ Talk: Friday, February 21st from 12-2pm
Georgetown College Fine Art Galleries is proud to have accomplished artist, Tim McCoy, as our next visiting artist. Please join us for the opening reception Friday, February 21st, 2014 in the Cochenour starting at 12pm. Enjoy meeting and listening to Mr. McCoy discuss his work process and this engaging exhibit. His work will be on view in the Cochenour Gallery from February 21st – March 28th, 2014.
Photography involves a radical re-framing of reality. Meaning is often determined as much as by what is “cut” from the framing of the images as it is by those elements that are revealed in detail. I have largely excluded human figures, although humanity is alluded to through the cultural icons and remnants shown. Thus, the focus is on what people leave behind rather than the evanescence of contemporary culture.
In my work, there is always an added dimension beyond concrete reality. Images and their titles do not document reality, but they are landscapes populated by a “forest of symbols.” The symbolic content is meant to be archetypal â€”presenting some archaic concern embedded in the human psyche.
â€śSanctuaryâ€ť is one of those concerns embedded in the â€ścollective unconscious,â€ť a term coined by the psychologist Carl Jung for archaic, archetypal psychic structures inherent in the human mind rather than those based on the experiences of one’s personal life. Sanctuary embodies hope and refuge in response to fear and lossâ€”here seen through the lens of time.
The sea represents the depths of the unconscious. Devouring Sea reminds us of our fears arising from the unconscious, and the diminutive castle represents our feeble attempts to stand against the vast power of the ocean…and Fate. Sanctuary can be as obvious as the site of religious pilgrimage (Madonna at Midnight) or an island castle protected by stone walls and water (Highlander Retreat).
The ruin itself symbolizes the fragmentary, abandoned, and forgotten. It stands for history as a process of decay, neglect, and loss (Camelot). A place of sanctuary can be violated, and the ruin remains as a witness (Last Refugeeâ€”1244). Sanctuary can also be found in the solace of community, (The Race). Sanctuary also may be found behind the protection of stone walls and bars (Wallflower)â€”or is it to be found in the freedom to rise or to fly beyond the walls?
Death can be either a gain or loss of sanctuary (Isle of the Dead). In Eternal Vigil, the graves are attended by surviving loved ones. The tower, the tree, and the low-lying clouds are themselves symbols of celestial watchfulness. On an emotional level, six-year-old Gracie, an only child, lives on in the devotion of strangers who visit her grave in St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA (Gracie, Not Forgotten).
The journey (Begin, Walk On) can be the active search for sanctuary that over time can be gained or lost. Paradise (or the Garden of Eden) is the ultimate sanctuary. In Paradise Lost, humans have been expelledâ€”and replaced by the birds, who represent freedom in their ability to fly. The powerful light of hope illuminates the tree of life and the hope of restoration.
I have been profoundly influenced by The Keepers of Light, by William Crawford, which can be summarized as an investigation of how photographic meaning is determined by choice of camera format and lens, photographic paper and development, and the “framing” of the image. The choice of alternative processes imposes a “look” to the photographs, regardless of the subject matter. These processes usually require large-format and/or enlarged negatives. My antique Deardorff 8×10 inch field camera forces me to see the world from a static, constricted viewpoint.
I used the alternative process of palladium printing for this portfolio. I enlarged negatives from my Deardorff to 16 x 20 inches. I then coated translucent vellum paper with a pure palladium solution, exposed the paper and transparency to ultraviolet light, and then developed the paper in warm (100 degrees) potassium oxalate. The combination of heated development of the palladium coating on translucent vellum produced a brownish image that resembles parchmentâ€”an allusion to the passage of time. The hard paper surface yielded exquisite detail and an etching-like effect, thus partially denying the image’s origin as a photograph and emphasizing my interpretative rather than documentary intent. In the language of The Keepers of Light, this imparts a printmaking syntax.
For more information on Mr. McCoy: click here.