Duet © Teri Figliuzzi


Today we share the work of Teri Figliuzzi,Teri was a 2022 Rfotofolio Work of Merit Selection.

Would you please tell us about yourself?

I grew up in Los Angeles and moved east to attend college at the Rhode Island School of Design,  majoring in textile design. After graduating, I moved to New York City and began my career in commercial design working at two international architecture firms as a color and materials specialist, and then later as a woven upholstery designer for a contract furniture company. Before my children were born, I took classes and attended lectures at ICP. It wasn’t until late 2019 when I had time to begin experimenting in photography again.

Who has had an influence on your creative process?

So many people over the years throughout my education, career, and travels have been influential. Most recently in 2021, I took a photography workshop with photographer Sandi Haber Fifield. It was a very challenging course, but I look back and realize how much I learned and how enriching this experience was for me.

 Please tell us about an image (not your own) that has inspired you.

It is  very difficult to pinpoint one image! The experience of  seeing exhibits and hearing artists present their work in person has been incredibly inspiring. One exhibit in particular was the 2018 New York Public Library Anna Atkins exhibit downstairs and contemporary artists using experimental image making methods upstairs. I went back five times to see the show, attended a terrific presentation by Meghann Riepenhoff, as well as a gallery talk with Alison Rossiter. It opened my eyes to so many new possibilities. From that point, I knew that I must get back into exploring image making . 

How do you work through times when nothing seems to work?

If I have been working for hours, getting frustrated, and nothing feels right, I get up and walk away. Going outside to the park for fresh air and exercise helps to clear my mind.

 What part of image-making do you find the most rewarding?

I love the surprise factor in working with cyanotypes, lumens and phytograms. There is only so much that can be planned in advance. The rest is determined by factors beyond our control such as weather, time of year, light source, etc. 

Please tell us about your process and the work you submitted to the Rfotofolio Call.

In 2022, I took “The Silver Canvas: Exploring Cameraless Photography” online class through The Halide Project with Anne Eder. I became fascinated with the phytogram process, using film and a plant based developer. While gathering plants to use, I often seek out the common weed or discarded flower…all equally beautiful in my eyes. After composing the image on film, it is exposed in natural daylight, and fixed.  I then print the image on vellum and back it with silver and gold leaf, a technique taught to me by Marcy Palmer. By working with botanicals in this manner, I strive to bring focus to all stages of life, both tangible and ethereal.

 What tools have you found essential in the making of your work?

The essential tools I use are my eyes, hands, intuition, and nature. I need to rely on my gut instincts. I have to feel rested, relaxed and very focused, and had at least one cup of coffee!

What do you do when nothing seems to work? 

Viewing work in museums and galleries gives me a fresh perspective. There is always something to learn, see and be inspired by in viewing artists work.

Is there something in photography that you would like to try in the future?

I would like to explore more alternative processes such as chemigrams , chemilumens and cyanolumens . 

How does your art affect the way you see the world?

I have a much deeper appreciation and respect of nature, it’s strength and perseverance, and unmatched beauty. There are so many subtle and unique differences in nature and my work has made me slow down and take time to observe and study them more closely.

What’s on the horizon?

On the technical side, I would like to learn Lightroom and Photoshop. Creatively, I’m interested in exploring diptychs and/or using multiple images to create a single piece, return to weaving images, printing on fabric, and possibly combining my interest in natural dying with my prints. I began working with seaweed this past spring and want to continue with this series, plus focus on using other organic materials.

Thank you Teri.

To learn more about the work of Teri Figliuzzi please visit her site by clicking on her name.


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