June 12, 2016
BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
More than 100 guests drifted around artist Suzette Bross Bulley’s larger-than-life sized photographs, shimmering like banners within the walls of the Chicago Artists Coalition on June 3. Titled “For the Glass,” the opening reception culminated Suzette’s prestigious Bolt residency, featuring fluid portraits done with a scanner, somehow capturing the soft-edge imagery of the plates used by 19th century photographers.
Of her inspiration for the imaginative methodology, Suzette shared:
“I have been rethinking portraiture, looking for ways to portray individuals using modern technology and working within our lives today – how we live and how we see ourselves. Although a scanner is not necessarily the most cutting-edge technology, it is something with which we are all familiar – something we use for reproduction, but not for portraits.
“The title relates to the early glass plate photographs of Alice Liddell and others. She was the Alice of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as well as the niece of Julia Margaret Cameron. Both Lewis G. Carroll and Cameron captured her so hauntingly in their photographs.”
Each of the 16 subjects, both colleagues and family, posed close to the scanner for two minutes, touching the glass with their fingers – a short period compared to the time required for sitting in the 1860s. Each portrait was printed on laminated paper and suspended from the ceiling, giving guests the ability to interact with each print. Several of the subjects posed with their hands against their own portraits emphasizing the three-dimensional effect.
Suzette was delighted that several of her photography professors and mentors attended the opening, including Tom Arndt, Jack Wolke, David Travis, and Barbara Crane.
The Chicago Artists Coalition at 217 Carpenter Street is headed by Carolyn Older and offers both Bolt and Hatch fellowships to talented and emerging photographers. It serves as an intersection between artists and collectors. Suzette’s show runs through June 16. For more information on the Chicago Artists Coalition, visit their website,www.chicagoartistscoalition.org, or call 312-491-8888. For more information on Suzette, please check outwww.suzettebross.com.
Clare Perry Photography