NICHE: Cyanotypes and Constructions

Works by Gail Erwin

February 28 – April 15, 2017

Artist Reception: Saturday, March 11, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

6 Bridges Gallery presents Niche: Cyanotypes and Constructions, an exhibit featuring the work of Gail Erwin from February 28 to April 15, 2017. There will be a reception on March 11, 7:00–9:00 pm which is a part of ArtsNight Maynard, a night of several gallery openings in Maynard.

Cyanotypes
There is mystery in the empty niche, the partially opened door, the layered view.  Light plays over images in unexpected ways, it glows from beneath a closed door, or through a crack that lets in a sliver of light.

This series started with a photograph taken in a ruined monastery. It shows four openings or niches whose original purpose can only be imagined. Perhaps they were for a sacred statue or a reliquary. The photos have been created in the 19th century photographic process of cyanotype. Digital negatives are used in printing. Twenty first century technique meets nineteenth century process. These blue prints defy time, making the images seem timeless.

Boxes and Constructions
Considering the uses of niches, especially those in ruined cathedrals, thoughts about the gruesome deaths that martyred saints suffered came to mind. There is a litany of the means of torture and death: hanging, impalement, fire, chains, stoning, poison, imprisonment and more. The boxes are hand crafted small niches, pretty on the outside, but within contain the means of saintly death. Small boxes of hate.

The wood and wire constructions are reminiscent of niches with their random openings and recessed spaces. The wood is distressed much like you might find in an old building, but the golden wire lends an unexpected refinement.