Connect with us

Arts & Culture

Through the Looking Glass

Funny thing about today—we’re photographed more than ever before in human history. Nearly every single day of our lives is catalogued for all to see, tagged and codified for easy examination. But who’s it being recorded for? Will anyone care? Will anyone even know where to find all these shots in 100 years? This is [...]
614now

Published

on

Funny thing about today—we’re photographed more than ever before in human history.

Nearly every single day of our lives is catalogued for all to see, tagged and codified for easy examination.

But who’s it being recorded for? Will anyone care? Will anyone even know where to find all these shots in 100 years?

This is what is driving Ed Gately: a mission to put permanence back in photography.

Gately has eschewed his former life in IT for a full-time gig in photography, an art he took up as a teen after realizing he wouldn’t be able to reliably narrate his own photographic memory.

“For the longest time, I never owned a camera; I had this young and naive belief I would vividly remember all of my experiences, until one day I was moving to a new home and opened a box. I discovered a book of photos documenting a language trip to Europe I had taken in High School. As I flipped through them, I instantly knew how wrong I had been. While I had not forgotten about the trip, generally speaking, recalling it might have been like watching a movie with the sound off. Each photo transported me back to that moment… the smells… the sounds… the emotions… all of it. The very next day I bought a camera and my adventure started.”

That adventure has pushed him forward as a photographer—by delving into the past. He now specializes in wet-plate photography, an antiquated technique that, while time-consuming, has resulted in images that have stayed around for centuries. His new business, in addition to making tintypes, will push to make glass negatives used to create vibrant 19th century prints, tactile documents captured in stunning, sharp detail.

“Ansel Adams has a famous quote,” Gately said. “‘The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.’ Think about that—every capture has a performance. If you just click to capture and then immediately click to “print,” you are missing out on the performance. I think I fell in love with the process because you get a chance to write the score and perform it all at once… right in front of your audience. It is incredibly personal and humbling.”

We leaned in a little closer to let Gately shine light on a more lasting look into modern life.

You talk of “permanence.” Why is that so meaningful to you in this day and age? Permanence is so undervalued today. Do you know if the image you created and saved digitally to the cloud or a social platform will be around to share with your kids? Or their kids? Or will it even be there for you late in life? Technology changes rapidly and may be incompatible with the way you digitally stored your images, and there is always the potential of data loss. Even current inkjet technologies have only been around for 20 years. We have no guarantee of their permanence. This was a big reason I fell in love with the wet plate collodion process and now print-out-paper processes; like cyanotypes. We have historical examples of these items existing for over five generations. Irreplaceable memories passed from one generation to the next. That is powerful.

Is there an irony to you, in that the disposable and affordable nature of photography today may give more people an opportunity to learn the art, but they may not appreciate the tactile relationship of the old process? When creating art with photography you are engaging in two general actions; capture and print. The affordable nature of photography in the digital world has been amazing. Our phones now have wonderful cameras in them to capture any moment in front of us. The vast majority of all captures are now “printed” on a screen. It has been a boon for getting exposure or just sharing with friends. All this is great to create work rapidly, but is it helpful to create it thoughtfully? You mention the tactile relationship of the old process. This is an amazing thing for me as an artist, but I think it may be even more important for the viewer. Each process I practice has a unique language for telling the story of an image. Holding a finished tintype in your hand is really a moving experience. The level of detail the process is capable of capturing surprises most people.

How much trial and error before you were able to get some workable images out of the wet plate process? Oddly enough, the first plates I poured turned out pretty decent. I had already spent over a year gawking at YouTube videos before I tried. It also helped that my very first hands-on attempt was done at a one day workshop over at UA Creative Studios with an amazing instructor. Heather Wetzel. In my eyes, the greatest advantage the wet plate collodion process is that it can all be created right in front of your eyes. The ability to visually inspect your work as you process almost always ensures you get some sort of image. The process of creating clean almost modern looking images or ones with the distressed look you intended is another story altogether. To further complicate things, the chemistry itself is its own living and breathing entity. You have to understand the interaction with temperature and humidity, decayed performance due to age, and maintenance of certain chemicals due to precipitation. It requires an immense amount of dedication to produce work on a high level.

Which photographers you are inspired by, around the world, and locally? There are so many amazing and talented photographic artists out there. If I just focus in the area of alternative process, I’d have to pick these three. First, Alex Timmermans from Holland for crafting amazing storytelling images. His set work and approach to solving problems without photoshop is rather unique. Second, Wilfred Thomas from France for his soft and delicate portrait work. I’m not sure he has shared a portrait I am not in love with. Locally, Tariq Tarey gets my vote for his gorgeous film portraiture work. So smooth and clean, it’s easy to waste too much time on his Instagram feed.

Who is one person you’d love to photograph more than anyone? I hope this does not sound cheesy, but the next person who comes into my studio. Sure I would love to meet someone famous and have them sit in front of my camera, but I am just as content having a friend or a new client come sit in my studio. It takes 10-15 minutes of total time to capture one image. This really changes how you interact and engage with each other. We must slow down on both sides of the camera and engage in mindfulness. I would not trade this for anything.

 

E.W. Gately

19th Century Photography  and Prints

ewgately.com

Instagram: @ewgately

Facebook:@ewgately

Continue Reading

Arts & Culture

Arts Fest Preview: Kate Morgan, 2D mixed media artist

614now

Published

on

SPONSORED

Kate Morgan began developing her ghostly, layered two-dimensional portraits after going back to school at the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2005. She already had some background in visual arts through her work in fashion and commercial photography, so the transition to drawing and painting was organic.

Morgan’s textured collages are inspired by folklore, mythology and a variety of artistic periods — especially Byzantine art. The 2011 Columbus Arts Festival Emerging Artist alum and 2019 exhibiting artist welcomes a wide array of complex themes into her pieces — including symbolic, cultural, historical and spiritual themes — while utilizing layers of vintage paper and original drawings to create visual depth and a sense of mystery.

Her pieces are purposely vague, leaning toward more minimalistic ideas to allow for wider interpretation by audiences. Largely her art depicts the female form, with as many layers and stories to tell as that of every human being. This is done with an eclectic assortment of materials — including sheet music, German Biblical pages, newspaper and maps — to add detail in both a topical and textural sense.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

And yet, Morgan still continues to look for a challenge. From venturing away from her familiar blue hues to exploring different mediums like ceramics, her work knows no creative limits.

Morgan has exhibited at the Columbus Arts Festival nearly every year since 2011. She has gone on to win two jurors’ choice awards in the 2D category at the Columbus Arts Festival, as well as sell and have work juried at other major festivals across the country. In Columbus, her work can be seen as part of the Columbus Makes Art and Donatos Pizza collaborative mural “Every Piece Is Important” at the John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

Morgan has a BFA from CCAD and currently works out of her Franklinton studio in Columbus. Experience this stunning work first hand when you visit her at booth M572 on the Main Street Bridge during the Columbus Arts Festival from June 7-9 at the downtown riverfront.

Continue Reading

Arts & Culture

Be Square: Changes coming to arts community at 400 W Rich

Mike Thomas

Published

on

If you haven’t visited the thriving arts community at 400 West Rich street in awhile, you might be surprised to see how much things have changed. Now, the minds behind the city’s hub for the arts are changing things up to better reflect the area’s evolution.

400 Square is the new collective moniker for the array of concepts that currently occupy the buildings on the 400 block of Rich street in Franklinton. The rebrand seeks to unify the community of artistic innovators who call the area developed by Urban Smart Growth their creative home.

Promo art for 400 Square by Anthony Damico

Spaces encompassed in the rebrand include Strongwater, The Vanderelli Room, and Chromedge Studios, and of course, the studios at 400 W. Rich. While the name may be changing, the group remains committed to providing and sustaining a thriving hub for creatives through education, resources, and entertainment opportunities in the area.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

With the launch of 400 Square, Urban Smart Growth Director of Operations Seth Stout has led his team to develop new offerings for each of the growing spaces. Food and Beverage Director Lauren Conrath and Events Director Molly Blundred have taken the lead with changes to the Strongwater brand, while Community Director Stephanie McGlone and Art Director AJ Vanderelli are facilitating programming for all ages and abilities on the artist side.

Through all of the changes on the way, the staff at 400 Square are committed to bringing the public the same high quality of workshops, events, exhibitions, and more that have always been part of their unique creative community.

Stay tuned for more info—the new 400 Square officially rolls out during the weekend of Columbus Arts Fest 2019, June 7-9.

Continue Reading

Arts & Culture

Arts Fest Preview: Cousin Simple to wow crowd with energy, passion

614now

Published

on

SPONSORED

As a young up-and-coming band, Cousin Simple is excited to play at this year’s Columbus Art’s Festival. In their two years as a band, they have already done a lot of really cool things, such as making a single with L.A. multi-platinum music producer David Kershenbaum, playing at Vans Warped Tour at Blossom Music Center, and selling out shows at the A&R Bar, the Basement and The Big Room Bar. But there is much more they want to accomplish including recording more music, making a music video and playing more shows in and out of Columbus.

The band members are all Columbus born and raised. Four members currently attend The Ohio State University, while their drummer Joel is finishing up his junior year at New Albany high School. Cousin Simple brings an energy and passion to the stage and gives everything they have to their performances, regardless of the crowd size. They just released a new single in February called Honeybee, available on iTunes and Spotify and have a single set to release May 10 titled “Star Destroyers.”

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

Columbus is a great city for musicians. Whether you’re in the indie, rock, or hip hop scene, there are other musicians and music industry people willing to help you out. Columbus also takes a great sense of pride in its “local gems.” People love to see musicians who are doing well in their hometown and are willing to support them in many ways.

There are so many organizations that have taken this to heart and are helping bands get great opportunities. CD102.5, WCBE 90.5, PromoWest Productions and the Columbus Music Commission have helped Cousin Simple get airtime, shows and support. When it comes to music cities, Columbus may not be the first place that comes to mind, but there are so many bands and musicians doing exciting things it’s making the future bright for them and the Columbus music scene.

But Cousin Simple recognizes that none of this would be possible without the support of their family, friends and FANS that come to each and every show. They are humbled and motivated by their audiences who energize them to make every performance an experience their fans won’t forget. 

Cousin Simple will perform on the Big Local Music Stage on Rich Street on Friday night, June 7 at 7:45 p.m.

Continue Reading

No mo’ FOMO

Missing out sucks. That's why our daily email is so important. You'll be up-to-date on the latest happenings and things to do in Cbus + be the first to snag our daily giveaways

Shop Now!

The Magazines

X