Klea McKenna | Artist-in-Residence

SIDE GALLERY: 4.25.10 – 5.30.10


My relationship to nature lies somewhere between adoration and suspicion. This ambivalence is the source of my recent projects, which have each dealt with human perception of nature and landscape. In my current, unfinished series, “Slow Burn”, I explore the materiality of the photographic medium and it’s potential to interact with place and landscape in new ways. I work with a variety of analogue photographic methods and crude experiments to create unlikely, sometimes abstracted photographs. Using handmade cameras and large format color film and photographic paper, I record places in ecological shift, areas where open space and human stories overlap. Recent experiments have included filling the camera with river water and folding the film up so that it reacts to light as a 3-dimensional object. While photographing landscapes in ecological change, I attempt to rupture our perception and make the flawed material of the film itself visible. My methodology and aesthetic are informed by the strategies of field biology, Victorian naturalism, and homespun science; practices that employ intense and prolonged observation of nature. This exploratory approach yields abstracted images, each experiment leading to the next – Klea McKenna

(Detail from an installation of 32 light-sensitive paper airplanes exposed to the sky over a period of eight hours at a WWII anti-aircraft lookout post. Tennessee Cove, CA, 2010)