Julie Meridian – Specimens Exhibit Opening
October 2 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree
Julie Meridian Specimens Exhibit Opening
Brief Artist Bio:
Julie Meridian is a self-taught photographer, with a background in fine art and art education. She lives in Evanston, Illinois
As an artist with a reverent curiosity about the natural world, I am a constant collector of leaves, pods, shells and other commonplace wonders, mostly gathered near my home. A few years ago I began photographing the specimens in my collection, inspired in part by the carefully classified and preserved specimens in the vast collection of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Rather than simply documenting the specimens as objects, however, my intent is to convey the mysteries that I feel in their presence, exploring themes of fragility and endurance, beauty and decay, chance and destiny, life and death.
With these contradictions at heart, I begin with a simple background of white paper and the morning light from an east window. I have become acutely attuned to the daylight variations in my east bedroom and to the constantly shifting angle of the light as it moves across my floor in moments, hours, days and seasons. What pulls me to this little patch of sunlight is, most of all, my sense of play, delighting in the infinite, radiant, magical variations drawn in the shadows as I turn and place each object in the light. It is an intuitive, improvisational process, akin to drawing and collage, using a variety of props outside the image to alter the fall of light within my frame. I work quickly as the light moves, using my camera to preserve each specimen in an ephemeral framework constructed solely of light and shadow.
In the course of this process, I sometimes witness a startling moment when the mundane reality of the specimen undergoes a quiet metamorphosis. Here, outside of time, place, and scale, a tattered leaf or pressed wildflower enters an ambiguous, metaphorical realm. Hovering between specimen and poetry, science and art, the moment challenges me to measure the immeasurable: the inevitability of loss and the transcendence of beauty.