James Holroyd, Newzones Gallery, Calgary Canada
James Holroyd, Newzones Gallery, Calgary Canada
James Holroyd, Newzones Gallery, Calgary Canada
James Holroyd, Newzones Gallery, Calgary Canada

James Holroyd

SELECTED WORKS

Holroyd’s new works, inspired by Pierre Alechinsky’s series of lithographs/etchings Rifts (Eclaircies), build on his previous body of work – primitive lens flower cyanotypes on panel. The flowers in the previous work had a figurative presence; here, the abstracted figures grow out of vital, serpentine, organic forms. While light defined the continuous surfaces of three dimensional forms in the primitive lens photos, in these new works light creates photogenic drawings where flat form is defined by line. These comically monstrous/monstrously comic figures, with their numerical/botanical facial features and flowing insides-out/outsides-in, suggest various states of mind.

BIO

Holroyd’s new work, inspired by Pierre Alechinsky’s series of lithographs/etchings Rifts (Eclaircies), builds on his previous body of work – primitive lens flower cyanotypes on panel. The flowers in the previous work had a figurative presence; here, the abstracted figures grow out of vital, serpentine, organic forms. While light defined the continuous surfaces of three dimensional forms in the primitive lens photos, in these new works light creates photogenic drawings where flat form is defined by line. These comically monstrous/monstrously comic figures, with their numerical/botanical facial features and flowing insides-out/outsides-in, suggest various states of mind

Holroyd’s series, “Flora”, continues his exploration of the materiality of photographic imaging. It has facilitated both a move from pinhole to primitive lens photography and the exploration of the physical properties and creative potential of cyanotype on wood panel. Employing a single primitive lens made with a commercially available lens component, an artist built sliding box camera was used to shoot 4″x5″ film negatives. The lens and the camera, inspired by Alan Greene’s Primitive Photography: A Guide to Making Cameras, Lenses and Calotypes, produced images with optical properties similar to photographs from the 1840-1860’s. Because cyanotype is a contact printing process, the negative must be the same size as the desired print. The transition from a 4″x 5″ negative to a grid of larger internegatives necessitated a digital stage. Thus, digital inkjet internegatives are employed in the darkroom to produce the cyanotype positives where the cyanotype solution is painted directly onto the wood surface and exposed to UV light. These positives are then tiled together to create the larger final prints.

The scale of an art work affects the viewer’s perception of its subject. This shift in scale, together with the effects of the camera’s optics and cyanotype’s intense, deep Prussian blue color makes the representations of these flowers seem simultaneously familiar and foreign. The elegance of the flowers’ inherent design resonates with the random organic patterns of the wood grain on which the images are printed. Using alternative photographic processes for the capture and printing of these images creates a warm and unpredictable “hand-made” quality that allows the photographs in this exhibition to float in a limbo between past and present.

Holroyd has a Masters Degree in English literature.

Contact Us

Please provide the artist and artwork title in which you are interested. Newzones' hours are Tuesday-Friday 10:30-4:30 MST and Saturday 11:30-4:30 MST. If we receive your enquiry after gallery hours, you will receive a response the following morning.

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