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Gilded Photography
Lori Pond and Wendi Schneider

Opening - Saturday, May 7


Lori Pond

by Lori Pond

There is a long tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhist monks writing poems at the time of their deaths in order to not only examine the world in all its impermanence, but to stress the importance of death. These poems remind us that we are most alive when we are present at the edge of the unknown.

In the book The Five Invitations I came across a poem in this genre:

Don't just stand there with your hair turning gray,
Soon enough the seas will sink your little island.
So while there is still the illusion of time,
Set out for another shore.
No sense packing a bag.
You won't be able to lift it into your boat.
Give away all your collections.
Take only new seeds and an old stick.
Send out some prayers on the wind before you sail.
Don't be afraid.
Someone knows you're coming.
An extra fish has been salted.

     -Mona Sono Santacroce

Her poem inspired me to invite myself to be both open-minded and open-hearted; I could picture in my mind an image to go along with each line. What I realized after reading this work is that the poem is as much a celebration of life as it is a look at death. The resulting photographs serve as a reminder of what is possible when we live fully in the light of death. To illustrate both the preciousness of life and certainty of death, I have printed in black and white on vellum and backed each photograph with silver leaf.


Wendi Schneider

Wendi Schneider is a Denver based visual artist widely known for her ongoing series of hand gilded photographs – States of Grace. Drawn to the serenity she finds in the sinuous elegance of organic forms, she creates illuminated impressions of light on vanishing beauty in the natural world. Layering color, texture, and gold leaf, Schneider's process creates ephemeral illusions that seemingly dance on the paper's surface amidst reflections of light on precious metals, creating a synthesis of technique and subject.

Wendi's interest in photography germinated in the early 1980s when using a camera to reference models for her oil paintings. Mesmerized by the possibilities of the photographic art form and the alchemy of the darkroom, yet missing the sensuousness of oils, Schneider began to layer oils on her photographs to manipulate the boundaries between the real and the imagined. This process laid the groundwork for the unique layering and gilding.



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