Today we share the work of Bob Cornelis one of the selections in the 2017 Rfotofolio Call for Entry. 

Please tell us about the portfolio of work you submitted to our call.

This new project is actually an offshoot of two previous projects I have completed in the last 5-6 years. The first, Karesansui, used the placement of three-dimensional geometric objects in space to emulate Zen gardens. The second project, Carta I-IV, was an abstract study of paper sheets and strips. Combining both of these elements into a single frame has allowed me to greatly expand the range of these abstract formal studies. The combination of two and three-dimensional objects lets me explore new methods of lighting, placement of shadows, chiaroscuro effects, etc. to create self-contained spaces that define a small universe consisting of the interplay of form and light.

What Image of yours would you say taught you an important lesson ?

I don’t think I could identify a single image from which I learned a significant lesson. My work all takes place in the form of long term projects. The subject matter is usually non-representational and the images tend to end up having  a theme-and-variation type relationship to each other where no particular image is one that separates itself from the pack.

Rather I’d say that two particular projects have had a major impact on my work. Karesansui was the first abstract project I did using a hand-made printing method (image transfers). It taught me the importance of using a printing technique that is appropriate to the subject matter of the project, rather than just printing something a certain way because I know how to. Carta I, a study of the architectural forms and beauty of paper, taught me to notice the simple, often overlooked, objects surrounding us in everyday life as an inspiration for new work.


What is on the horizon ?

I am going to be learning some new skills to help me in the production of my work. I’ve been binding handmade prints into handmade books in recent years and will be adding the ability to place loose prints into handmade clamshell boxes. I’m also planning to add at least one new printing process in the next year, perhaps carbon or polymer photogravure. I’m also planning on continuing my experiments with gum over platinum/palladium and cyanotype prints to allow me greater freedom in toning these prints.

I will be finishing a portfolio of cyanotype prints for a project called Vitrum in the next few months – these are abstract studies that explore the reflective and refraction qualities of sheets of glass.

I have a couple of other series, including the one selected for this show, that I will be bringing to physical form in some combination of printing and packaging into handmade book or portfolio box form.

To learn more about the work of Bob Cornelis please visit his page by clicking on his name.

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