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 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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