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Emma Powell
Emma Powell
Emma Powell

Emma Powell

Country: United States

Emma Powell is an artist in residence and lecturer in photography at Iowa State University. Powell graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio and received her MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work often examines photography's history while incorporating historic processes and or devices within the imagery. In her series In Search of Sleep, Powell uses the cyanotype process to create a visual lullaby in wish she explores personal narratives and metaphors.

In Search of Sleep
From my earliest days I have had a difficult relationship with sleep. As a child I avoided it at all costs, especially at night. To get me back to bed, my father used to tell me stories. They were not traditional children’s bedtime stories, but invented tales that began on our quiet street and journeyed down open drains to a dream-world of caverns, forests, and oceans full of unexpected animals and dangers. The story would always find its way back to the real world and end where it had begun, hopefully but doubtfully with me that much closer to sleep.
In Search of Sleep recreates this shadowy realm and allows me to explore my real-life questions, from personal dramas to romantic doubts. The cyanotype process, with its distinctive blue tones, visually traverses the distance between waking and sleeping. These images are also toned with tea and wine to both dull the blues and add warmth. Tea, wine, cyanide – all three of these substances relate to different levels of consciousness that often mirror the mental states evoked by my photographs. In Search of Sleep creates a visual lullaby that allows me to safely explore what I love, what I fear, what I remember, and what I imagine.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Lara Wilde
Germany
1988
Lara Wilde dances in her projects between the themes of raw human emotions and the complexity of the outside world. As a photographer and psychologist she is interested in what moves us as humanity on an individual level. Besides an intensive involvement with her protagonists, she stands for technical perfection in the execution, which has earned her several awards. Since 2016 Wilde is working as a fine art photographer and creative director. Statement A few years ago I moved from a Norwegian village back to Berlin to study photography. What I didn't know back then is that you unlearn being a city person when you are gone long enough. I really thought I would die in the anonymous streets of the city I once loved so much. As you know, when we are determined to solve a problem, we go deeper into it. So I wanted to meet strangers and see how they feel outside of their awesome social herds. A lot of nights I now invited myself to other peoples houses, men and women, all strangers, drinking coffee and photographing them in the process. I shot them in longterm exposures, first, because I didn't want to bring a lot of equipment, but later I enjoyed the slow process, sitting there in darkness and waiting for the picture to come through. For some people, it was torture sitting around in the darkness, confronted with their thoughts without their smartphones, friends or busy surroundings. For me they looked like something was missing when they were just sitting by themselves. It felt really personal watching them trying to get comfortable in this inputless scene, to see them struggle, or to see them think and sometimes sharing the feelings that were coming forward. All these conversations with strangers, waiting around in the dark, gave me a feeling of togetherness, becoming a tiny particles of their lives and giving them something that they normally didn't have: Stillness. They were so open and thankful for conversations and most of the times we talked about the real shit: About being lonely, about dying, about calling our parents and our first love. All the stories found their way into the pictures and reminded me of everything we talked about. But I personally got my Berlin back. Not at the streets, but at the dark corners of their homes. Everything in their homes told their stories as loud as they did and I had the honor of being part of it for a short period of time. I get you now, Berlin-people: You are kind and giving, but you are afraid of being used. You are interested in others, but don't want to be tangled up in other peoples problems. You want to show yourself, but want to be accepted. And if you like it our not, the people around you want that too.
Zaharia Cusnir
Moldova
1912 | † 1993
Zaharia Cuşnir (1912-1993) was an amateur photographer born in Rosietici village, Floresti region, Moldova. He was photographing people within 1955-1973, and left a collection of negative films 6x6 cm, from which 3751 were discovered in his abandoned house in 2016. The photographs portray groups, landscapes, scenes from everyday life: work in the kolkhoz, weddings, funerals, national celebrations. Life Zaharia Cuşnir was born as the last child in the family of 16 children in Rosietici village, Soroca district. His father was a Moldovan businessman (born 1870), and his mother was of German origins (born in approx. 1870). Zaharia was born in Bessarabia, at that time part of the Russian Empire, educated in Romania (Iasi city), and after WW-II, became a USSR citizen. He went to school to the neighbouring Rogojeni village and later attended the pedagogical lyceum in Iasi, Romania. He began teaching in Rogojeni, then though he worked in kolhoz, performing works as carrying stones, digging the frozen ground, carrying loam, destroying fences, herding cows. Villagers also remember him as a blacksmith. He also built a family of 4 children with his wife, Daria. Zaharia learned photography from his nephew, who returned from the army. The nephew was living in another village, so they decided to split the territory for the photographic activities. So, Zaharia stayed responsible for the surrounding villages: Caşunca, Rogojeni, Țâra, Ghindeşti, Roşietici, and Cenuşa. The first pictures were taken in 1955. Zaharia was photographing mainly portraits of neighbours and then he was selling the photos. He had a bicycle, which he was usually lending to people for a photograph, as well he had a black blanket, which he was using as a background when he was taking portraits. Up to 1973, he had taken around 4000 pictures of the medium format 6x6 cm. In 1993, after he died, the house was abandoned and the pictures were stocked in a suitcase and placed in the attic. Discovery In spring 2016, Victor Galuşca, being a student at the Academy of Arts in Chisinau, Moldova, arrived in Rosietici village to film his documentary film for the bachelor's degree exam. He entered the abandoned house and found several negative films scattered through the trash all around the floor. Victor inquired from the villagers whose house was it and found the daughter of Zaharia Cusnir, living in the neighbourhood. With her permission, within several days, he picked all of them, and together with his photography professor, Nicolae Pojoga started the cleaning and indexing process of the archive. Among all, there were found old documents, among which was an edited request for admission to the school, adjusted to a stilted language used at the time. There was also found a table of exercises written in Russian Cyrillic script, as well as elementary calculus tests designed for primary school. Other documents and archival remnants reveal a struggle between life and death for the majority of the population; these include bread allowances and checks listing debts. Further Development The archive has a high resonance and was appreciated within several exhibitions: at the Museum of Art of Moldova (curated by Cervinscaia Nadejda) and the Romanian Peasant Museum in Romania in 2018, and at the Ethnographic Museum of Transilvania, the Subway Gallery of the House of Arts in Timisoara, Romania and at the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore MARAMUREş from Baia Mare, Romania in 2019. In 2017 a Moldovan Publishing house Cartier published a photo album "Lumea lui Zaharia" ("Zaharia's World"). At the beginning of 2020, was launched the website and facebook page, aiming to give open access to the usage of the Zaharia Cusnir archive. The team is working on few coming exhibitions in Europe in 2020.
Thomas Michael Alleman
Thomas Michael Alleman was born and raised in Detroit, where his father was a traveling salesman and his mother was a ceramic artist. He graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in English Literature. During a fifteen-year newspaper career, Tom was a frequent winner of distinctions from the National Press Photographer’s Association, as well as being named California Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1995 and Los Angeles Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1996. As a magazine freelancer, Tom’s pictures have been published regularly in Time, People, Business Week, Barrons, Smithsonian and National Geographic Traveler, and have also appeared in US News & World Report, Brandweek, Sunset, Harper’s and Travel Holiday. Tom has shot covers for Chief Executive, People, Priority, Biz Tech, Acoustic Guitar, Private Clubs, Time, Investment Advisor, Diverse and Library Journal. Tom teaches “The Photographer’s Eye” at the Julia Dean Photo Workshops, and “Vision and Style” at the New York Film Academy, both in Hollywood. Tom exhibited “Social Studies”, a series of street photographs, widely in Southern California. He’s currently finishing “Sunshine & Noir”, a book-length collection of black-and-white “urban landscapes” made in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. “Sunshine & Noir” had it’s solo debut at the Afterimage Gallery in Dallas in April, 2006. Subsequent solo exhibitions include: the Robin Rice Gallery in New York in November 2008, the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, OR, in October 2009, the Xianshwan Photo Festival in Inner Mongolia, China, in 2010 and California State, Chico, in 2011. In the summer of 2012, a dozen pictures from “Sunshine & Noir” were featured in the “Photo Menage” exhibiton at the St. Petersburg Mueum of Art, in Russia, and ten prints will be shown during the RAYKO Gallery’s annual Plastic Camera Show in San Francisco in March, 2013, where Tom will be the Featured Artist. Also in early 2013, Tom will mount his first LA solo show, at the Duncan Miller Gallery, and his second solo show at the Robin Rice Gallery in New York City,
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