Friday, July 10, 2009

One Hundred Flashes of Memory...

It's a concept, an inspiration, a hope and maybe even a pipe dream. One hundred flashes of memory is the idea that is keeping me up at night and excited in the studio. It has nothing to do with painting, selling, or anything that I am used to, and this is a wonderful feeling.

As you have become aware if you are still reading this blog, I am enamored with photography and I really want to explore this further. These are some of my ideas of how I will use a selection of my daily blips to create a large body of work and a multimedia experience. It started with the old idea of wanting to invite people into my brain. I think this is a common want among people, to share their unique vision of the world; "If you could just see things like I do." I also think this is an intimate encounter that I want to experience with the viewer, or perhaps I should say I am ready to share with the viewer.

I have started working on 100 3x3" wood blocks, covered in distressed and tarnished copper and silver leaf. My photographs are then mounted atop that, and then wax and resin are applied to make a foggy layer you must see through to find your way back to the image, which usually already has a dreamlike quality. These blocks may also have words or stories written around the sides to shed light on the image or the story behind it.

The small scale of the work is a reaction to/against the sometimes large and overwhelming works found in museums. I envision these blocks hanging in a grid on one wall of a gallery or perhaps lining the perimeter of the gallery as well. The majority of colors for this body of work are shades of black, white, greys and a sickly pale yellow- unlike my richly colored paintings.

The ideas expressed in this work will be about the ability to make ones day or life into a series of stories. There are multiple ways to view life, and many of us use stories to get us through it. There are also multiple versions to each story, especially as the viewer brings their own stories to the work. Some of these stories will be "true" and others fiction- no one will know which are which. Some concepts I plan to explore

inside my brain (an invitation)
broken happy things
waking dreams
strange environments

Stories to explore:
a black and white plastic guitar with red plastic strings singing songs for the dead
crawling under the table to listen to the earth move
white gloved hands motioning in the night
there is a chair with a skeleton sitting attached to the moon and it keeps turning

I also hope to use spoken and recorded words and stories, with music inspired (or fitting) these concepts or blocks. I have been talking with Swedish musician, Af Bellinde about creating certain pieces of music for a block or two or for the blocks as a whole. His music has always inspired me, and I think his sounds would add to the inner dream world imagery that my photography mostly explores. He has agreed to collaborate as his time allows. I am very excited about this potential collaboration. I may have ipod stations set up through out the gallery that would correspond to certain blocks so that the viewer can put on headphones and go deeper into the experience of the isolated block and the sounds inspired or associated with it.

So, this is what I have been thinking and dreaming of, this excites me and reminds me of the past, specifically of my BFA books project. It has been ten years since I have been out of art school and here I am still working, still painting, still growing, still exploring.
This is what is it all about...

One hundred flashes of memory...
I will keep you posted as this progresses.

pictured above Hover ©2009 Megan Chapman


  1. Megan this sounds so interesting and exciting. Really intreging, your so talented. I just wish I could see it in person, oh well can't wait to hear more of how it progress's and get lost in your stories and photos :)

  2. Fantastic!
    I wish you all the best with this project - I can tell it sets you afire :))

  3. enormous plumes of smokeJuly 16, 2009 at 3:14 AM

    This sounds very intriguing. I would love to see the finished product. Good luck!

  4. a butterfly is lying and dies over the whyte of the snow

  5. Thanks for the comments and support. I can't wait to get this project really rolling.

    Glad to have some new energy in the comments as well. Welcome "enormous plumes of smoke" and "Anonymous"

  6. It is sad that the economy is taking it's toll on every aspect including the Art community. Thankfully we still have "Art Walks" and other venues that will support our craft. If you think back to the days of VanGough and Picasso, there were no Galleries to support them. Eventually times will change and people will look for something they can invest in, Art will be one aspect. A beautiful piece of Art is a personal decision one of which can be enjoyed on a daily basis, even in Corporate America. When you walk into any office or even some department stores, they now have some beautiful pieces. My hairdresser has at least five very beautiful pieces in her salon. It is a personal decison, for esthetic reasons as well as enjoyment.
    I enjoy seeing what wonderful new and exciting work you always come up with Megan. your use of colors and expression astound me. I have no doubt you will always have a career in the Art world and that Galleries will seek you out in the future!

  7. WoW! that is a superb photograph and a superb photo idea. Too much art to fit in one medium?

    I welcome you to art photography. I see my sales potential decreasing by your presence in photo art? Still, more QUALITY photos like yours will only increase the shopping audience.