Closing this week—Sol Invictus

A group show with work from my new series, Sol Invictus, will be closing this Sunday, August 26th at the 3rd Street Gallery on Second Street in Olde City, Philadelphia (58 North 2nd Street). There will be a closing reception from 2-5PM with drinks and light fare. If you can’t make the closing reception the gallery hours are Wednesday-Sunday noon–5PM.

Sol Invictus, 2012

This new work is more of a departure from my beginnings in straight landscape photography, but stems from my recent work altering satellite images appropriated from scientific and mapping applications, first with Google Earth, stitching hundreds of images and altering them to be printed in platinum/palladium, and now compositing images of the sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite.

With these new large-scale photo-based installations I manipulate appropriated images of the sun and print on clear film backed with gold leaf. The series stems from origins in ancient sun worship and its evolution to the worship of gold and to what could now be seen as the worship of technology. Dependence on technology, and the potentially devastating effect this year’s solar storms could have on it, caused me to look more closely to the sun, and reexamine that original idea of the Invincible Sun.


About Richard Boutwell

I am an emerging photographer originally from the Hi-Desert of Southern California, and relocated to Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 2002 for an intensive apprenticeship with the photographers Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee. I now live in Philadelphia, and concentrate on my own projects and writing.
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One Response to Closing this week—Sol Invictus

  1. Richard: I was in the lab as you were working on Sol Invicitus. I was amazed to watch you go from an artistic concept and photographic image to the building of your installation. Not only was it about the image but as installations go, a physical construction that display the qualities of the images in a particular way. Since I am an artist as well I enjoy how our works contrast. In many ways we think alike but our execution is quite different. One difference is that you have lived the life as an artist. I have lived as a psychoanalyst and an artist. In looking at your ongoing project of stitching aerial images I think about one’s need for a overall vision of the world we live in. At the same time the places you have selected are filled with social questions as to our relationship with earth and our political and social agendas. It is a complexity of ideas as well as images. Currently I am beginning to photograph a very large felled tree. My choosing this image parallels the selling of my current home. I am moving from a home in which I have experienced the fullness of family life with my husband and two daughters. I am divorced from my husband which was recent and very painful. My daughters are happy in their lives, thankfully independent of my situation though pained by it at the same time. So as I dismantle this house and all of the things, the feelings, the sounds and the events of life, death, birth and the simple commonness of everyday existence, it is easy to see why I want to photograph a tree at the end of its long life. The tree is laying on its side, all branches removed, cut from it sustaining roots. It is resting out its days still breathing, nearing the end of its physical presences as is my house in terms of it being the vehicle for me to contain my old family life. This is my mediation as I begin this series of photographs. The project will weave its path over years time. Since the family that owns the tree may have plans to have it removed and I will have to find another and another. So begins the evolution of my shooting schedule. One thing is for certain, these issues and the felling of major trees will continue for a long time so there is not need for me to rush out to this site, though I will later today. That is the challenge of projects in photography. The flexibility to move from site to site in the developing of one’s means of expressing inner visions. And following that to move through the options we now have to developing, printing and displaying in a diversity of materials that present technology now offer us as artist. I can tell you from my experience as an analyst, themes play out over long, long periods of time, years! It takes the long view of slow development that makes an analyst who she is, because as the agent of change we do not disturb our analysand’s process. So you must see the parallel to our work, do you not? Annarita

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