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 My primary subject over the last decade or so has been the space between. I use architecture and urban landscapes, and natural landscape to explore dynamic, temporary vacancy. These gaps range from the abandoned space created from departed cafe patrons or a bicycle path after a rainstorm, to the desolate space that is often a by-product of dramatic weather or time of day. The results of my work might be described as moody or haunted, populated by shadow and tied together by the question, “what happened here?” I see the detritus of our existence where the lingering heat of human presence has, or is, quickly dissipating. Mostly I see anticipation, potential and anxiety. My art wrestles with capturing effectively that uncertain edge between hope and fear.

My current project goes indoors and explores the work of people who are immersed in analog processes for their livelihood. In our increasingly digital culture there are still some trades that haven’t completely been taken over by computer means. For example, the Letterpress artist who often uses machines that are over 100 years old or a DJ who may not use a turntable these days, but still requires tactile precision in honing a beat. There are others such as an Arabic calligrapher or a fashion designer cutting out patterns and creating the next look with a sewing machine.

I came to be interested in this non –digital world because I still use traditional darkroom techniques. I’m often asked why I continue to work in a darkroom when I could easily eschew chemicals for less evasive Photoshop and digital printing. The answer is: I enjoy working with my hands. And I know the work that goes into developing negatives and creating a print is something that can never fully be replicated in the digital world.

mcshanphotog.com

 

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untitled | black and white photographs

 

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