Barbara Milot combines abstract photos of the sky with scratchings inspired by the growth pattern of shells to create tactile diagrams of turbulent weather patterns. Her series, Ordinary Storms, is on view at Nina’s Nook from October 8 to November 12. Meet the artist during Pumpkin Fest in Turners Falls, Saturday October 24 between 5 and 7 p.m.
Nina’s Nook 125A Avenue A in Turners Falls. Hours are Thursday, Friday, Saturday 12-5 and by app’t. 413.834.8800
I have taken photographs of skies and cloud formations for years although I am trained as a printmaker, not a photographer. When cleaning out my studio I came across an envelop of many of these photographs and began to draw on them and scratch through the printed surface. This was the start of my current body of work, the Ordinary Storms series.
In this series, I am exploring the tension between the ephemeral, transitory effects of moving clouds and the grounded, physical marks. The photographs are glimpses of the constantly changing effects of light in space, the very essence of ephemera, while the physical qualities of the materials interact with the insubstantial objects. The elusive subject suggests process and change, the transition from one set of conditions to another.
Throughout the day I am always aware of subtle changes in light, color and movement in the sky, even when indoors. I take hundreds of sky photographs (even during the working day out of a window with a panoramic view of the sky). I crop individual images to determine the compositions and resize them for printing. In cropping, the obvious views of the sky become abstract compositions of color, tone and shape. After printing, I superimpose drawings made from direct observation of natural forms to introduce structure, tactile elements and to juxtapose unrelated images in ways that seem true. In this series, I work from the growth marks and textural surfaces of shells as they give me visual analogies of diagrams of turbulent weather patterns.