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Gregory Soltys – Pennsylvania Home Coming Feb 2024 to May 2024

PENNSYLVANIA HOMECOMING Exhibition Dates 21st February 2024 to 5th May 2024

Official Opening Celebration 25th Feb 2024 2pm to 5 pm – opening Speech by Ellie Young at 2.30 pm

“I grew up in the Laurel Highlands region of Southwestern Pennsylvania in a small town called Latrobe.  The Laurel Highlands is a popular area for hiking, fishing, camping, mountain biking, downhill and cross-country skiing, and other outdoor activities.  It’s also an area of stunning natural beauty.

I’ve not lived there for 35 years.  At 18 I left for college and then lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 25 years before moving to Melbourne 5 years ago.  I’d wanted to go back to visit my mom in June 2020, but the pandemic put a pause to that.  Thankfully I had the opportunity to go for six weeks in June/July 2022.  I was keen to capture the landscape of my youth with my Chamonix 4×5 camera.

Initially my plan was almost clinical in nature, to document favorite places of my childhood.  But then it became something more.  I hadn’t realized how much that landscape is a part of me and helped create who I am.  When I returned to Melbourne with nearly 100 4×5 photos I wanted to do something with this body of work other than look at photos occasionally on my iPad.  Thinking of how best to celebrate these images, off I went.

My passion is carbon transfer printing, a slow, laborious, somewhat precarious technique that is fraught with challenges.  Each print can take up to a week to fabricate.  Tiny imperfections remind us that they are handmade objects produced with great care.  One aspect of carbon transfer printing I particularly like is once you learn the basic techniques you can go off in any direction.  Prints can look dreamy and otherworldly, tack-sharp and photorealistic, or like recently discovered 150-year-old artefacts.  Possibilities are endless.

Even though I live 10,000 miles away now this little corner of Southwestern Pennsylvania will always be my home.”