Elizabeth Opalenik – Magic of Mordançage: images of beauty and poetic grace January 30th to March 17th 2019
Mordancage, practiced by only a few artists, is a process whereby the artist strips away the darkest parts of the emulsion of a silver gelatin print. The stripping away of the emulsion was first perfected by french photographer, Jean-Pierre Sudre.
It is in the laying back down of the photographs emulsion where Elizabeth has made her trademark and contribution to the process. She lets the skin of her image fold upon itself and reform in the water as she gently rocks the tray, then she lets the picture-bearing emulsion settle back onto the paper to dry in new shapes. Sheets of image become cloaks that wrap a figure. It is an incarnation of the artist’s own moment of floating and transformation.
The end result is a one-of-a-kind photographic image where Elizabeth has taken a series of steps with a predictable outcome and injected her own intuitive sense of beauty into it. Elizabeth’s new images bring a way to see her subjects dressed by new graphics, mysterious and poetic and where Elizabeth becomes Photographer – Portraitist – Mordançeuse
“I have strived in my photography to find the essence of water as it ebbs and flows. The moment of movement, like time, can never be repeated. There is poetry in the outcome…in the graceful movement of the veils, like the rhythm of a haiku poem. Simple and elegant. Poetry in motion. Poetic Grace.”