February 17 - March 29 2024

Timothy McCoy: Beyond My Lens

A beautiful sunset

Selected photographs from three bodies of my work emphasize “alternative” photographic processes: Tongues Turned to Stone (photogravure on gamphi-shi paper), Sanctuary (palladium on translucent vellum), and Long, Long Journey to the Sea (gold-toned albumen). I choose these historical printing processes to evoke the timelessness of my content and my interpretive rather than documentary intent. In comparison, a fourth body of work, Watercourse Way (large digital prints on metallic paper) is a contemporary alternative to the hand-made nature of historical processes.

I create images in order to transform the “reality” seen through the camera lens into an expression of the oneness and wonder found in Taoist/Buddhist philosophy. These photographs are meditations on the constant and inevitable change in nature. The flow of water is one object
of this contemplation. The flow of water and the human journey have parallels. According to Eastern philosophy, mankind’s resistance to transformation leads to suffering.

Natural symbols are ancient and instinctive. According to the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, they are archetypes embedded in the “collective unconscious” and do not originate in personal experiences. A classic example is the “sanctuary” archetype, an enduring need. Archetypes exist in a deep well of the unknown that is best expressed through symbol rather than rational thinking. They are revealed by excavating hidden psychological layers rather than by reasoning. To quote Jung: “No genius has ever sat down with a pen or a brush in his hand and said—I will now invent a symbol.”

Symbol, an image that stands for something more than it denotes, is like metaphor in that it transfers meaning from one thing to another. Symbolic images are often physical objects that stand in for abstract meaning. Some of my images and their associated metaphors are:

• flowing water — life’s journey
• swamp — decay, mystery
• ice, crystals — transformation
• clouds — threat, change
• ancient theatre — mystery, ritual
• ruins — loss
• medieval interiors — sanctuary, refuge
• bridges — union, change, hope

The dual nature of the pairs explores Nature/Culture interactions.

I will be discussing my work at the opening reception on February 17, 2024 from 5 p.m. – 7p.m.
More about my exploration of imagery may also be found on my website: http://www.TimothyMcCoyPhoto.com

 

Artist's Reception: February 17 2024, 5-7pm

 

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