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Visual Arts

Max Blomgren '14 - 2013 McKee Photography Grant Recipient

Memory
Cyanotypes 

This series of pictures attempt to reconstruct feelings, thoughts, and experiences I had undergoing surgery in the winter of 2010. During my first semester at Bowdoin I felt weak and I was having problems grasping things with my right hand. I was unable to pinpoint the root of the problem so I brushed it aside and decided that I would deal with it when I got home instead. After coming home and scheduling an appointment with my doctor he realized I had a benign tumor on my cortical spine. It was critical to have it removed immediately, and only a week after I discovered it I was in the hospital for my first surgery. The end result was two separate surgeries to have the tumor removed and a semester break from Bowdoin in order to recover. These pictures examine many different aspects of my surgery and recovery. They look at the mental and physical challenges I went through; I believe through the cyanotype I am able to illustrate them. The cyanotype process is erratic, but the images that it can produce are astounding. There is an ability to layer and transform the negative unlike any other method I have seen in photography. The emulsion itself can take on photographic qualities without interacting with the negative. New spaces can be defined, and chance occurrence can make the image unique and impossible to reproduce. This is why I think that the cyanotype is a perfect representation of memory. The cyanotype allows for a combination of imagery that can degrade, be bolstered, and exist in a space that could never be possible in the real world. 

Max Blomgren '14 - 2012 McKee Photography Grant Recipient

Max Blomgren '14 - 2012 McKee Photography Grant Recipient

Max Blomgren '14 - 2012 McKee Photography Grant Recipient

Max Blomgren '14 - 2012 McKee Photography Grant Recipient