Artist Statement - Dottie Campbell Photography

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Artist Statement

It is well to remember that a picture before being a battle horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote - is essentially a plane covered with colors assembled in a certain order. - Maurice Denis’s famed dictum documented in Herschel B. Chipp’s Theories of Modern Art

My work is grouped into series that explore various ways to abstract reality by photographic means: various ways to cover the plane of a camera sensor with colors assembled in a certain order. I have used light, motion, context, reflection, transparency, and focus as agents of abstraction. Most recently, I am combining various agents of abstraction. I combine reflection with movement capture, for example, for even more interesting discoveries. I am searching for the visual essence of what we see around us.

We have become used to the stylistic conventions of photography. My photographic work breaks the rules of what people expect photographs to be. I push the limitations of the camera and photograph where others do not think a photographic capture is possible. I look for color interactions, texture, and the elements of form and line, all of them interacting with ephemeral qualities of light. I am unconcerned with the detail that one expects in a photograph.

Now, using my most recent agent of abstraction, the movement capture technique, I am no longer just discovering photographic compositions, I am creating them. I can create my own elements and textures in a photographic composition. Moving my camera at time of capture, I can add my spontaneous physical response to the composition that exists before me. I have become a performance artist, a dancer, a painter, and a creator in the photographic realm. I can create new reality while also documenting it. I feel strongly the connection between photography and other forms of art.

I am a print maker. My finished work is a tangible photographic print. I align myself with painters rather than digital artists whose work is trapped in a digital screen. The photographer, the artist, who captured the image, should execute complete control of the entire process that ends with the production of the photographic print. There are just too many decisions to make during the printing process to do otherwise.

The large size of my printed work, up to four feet by five feet, is not what is expected in photographic work. My photographs are printed large enough to transform gallery spaces with their compositions. Scale becomes another agent of photographic abstraction.

I continue to explore interactions between my camera, the world, and me to create my images. Wandering the world with my camera, observing, is artistically inspiring. Moving my body and camera in response to my observations, no longer a passive recorder of composition, enmeshes me in the art as never before. I come back to my studio, refreshed and inspired, to begin the final part of the photographic process, the development and realization, in tangible form, of the photographic image.



All images and content of this site © 2017 Dottie Campbell


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