SIMON J G CIAPPARA
Having just achieved my Fellowship with the Royal Photographic Society there are a few RPS magazines publishing Liminality in February along side some of my other works, also there is the Norfolk magazine publishing a feature article about me, my paper making and photography. I mention this as Influx might gain some additional traction for the virtual exhibition experience. It would probably be beneficial for us to have a conversation on the phone so I can easily tell you more and we can discuss the best way forward. I include the piece I wrote about what Liminality is for your comment.
“Liminality” Liminality is a state of transition between one stage and the next. My series of prints “Liminality” & “Leporello” Books were conceived as I watched a rainbow spectrum playing across our sitting room wall. The fractured light created by a hanging crystal in the front porch. This is not a frequent event as the alignment of sun and crystal is as haphazard as our winter weather.
Photographing this phantom of light was a wait and click game over a few weeks last December, eventually I had eight or nine usable images. This was a serendipitous number as visible light is arguably made up of eight colours and music is visualised in Octaves.
Both sound and light can be measured as frequencies, the “pure” sound and “pure” colours have intervals between them and are not conceived as continuous transitions, therefore there are intervals or in my imagination “liminal” spaces.
I often play with words, (in my head), that sound similar and the amusing notion of frequency and frequentness led me down another “rabbit hole”. There was borne the notion of “absence” between that which is frequent as opposed to continuous.
This parallel notion of sound and light captured my imagination and grew into a wish to express my vision as a series of images that sat together in a visual harmony. Light and the absence of light occupied my thoughts and how to create a visual flow just using presence and absence… abstracted. The depiction of fractured light, rhythm, harmony and tone occupied my “Liminal” pre-sleep thoughts for many months. All colour is made up of fractured white light and it’s absence can be depicted as “black” so the visualisation of the liminal spaces took root in my minds eye.
My next conundrum was how to shape rhythm and flow using just black, how and how much? I don’t recall the exact “lightbulb” moment except to say I saw someone dragging their finger along a piano keyboard, the flow of black and white keys triggered something as the notes filled the air.
Then began vast amounts of experimentation with black shapes, size, angles and frequency (that word again). Huge amounts of fun ensued combining spectra, black shapes, and rhythms. At that stage I felt I was missing something… temperature. Looking back at the original photos I instantly saw warm and cool and there was a sharp depiction of both, dividing the pictures neatly into two halves.
To create tonal depth within the spectra I experimented and created many layers of differing sizes and intensities until the composites pleased my eye. There was a moment that just how to depict my vision came to my consciousness and the realisation of the first one took less than half an hour one Sunday morning (before coffee!) The complete series took a little longer to finish but as soon as it was the discovery and idea were manifest. The “journey” from my conception to the perception of the viewer complete. There are those amongst you who will take issue with the pseudo science of light and sound I’ve tried to voice here but this is about sharing my idea, visualisation and thought process with you, not a dogma not a certainty but an idea brought into being and shared with those who want to participate.
Simon J G Ciappara.