Alternative Process Journey by Sarah Van Keuren

Martino Gallery, 2nd floor

Sarah Van Keuren, Fern Figures

Artist Statement

In this mini-retrospective I’m showing works from my past that speak to me now.

A love of paper, watercolor, painting and photography found expression in two venerable hand-applied 19th century light-sensitive processes: cyanotype and gum bichromate.

 For 20 years I controlled light with 8 by 10 inch pinhole negatives. I contact-printed them onto sensitized paper in the sun and developed sequential layers in water in the bathtub. Then came the digital revolution and I was privileged to use an imagesetter at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia which produced much larger negatives. Now the imagesetter is obsolete and I am retired from teaching. At home I use the simplest light resists: ferns and window screen combined with drawing and painting.

My maternal grandparents retired to an idyllic property on Luce Creek off the Severn River. In the 1950’s my siblings and cousins and I loved this land and water and in different ways tried to recapture it as adults. Forty years ago I found a sylvan refuge as a tenant in a carriage house by Darby Creek in the first ring of Philadelphia suburbs. Surrounded by gardens and trees I sought to preserve moments in which I felt at one with nature. 

 

   

 Sarah Van Keuren (from Left to Right; Geometric Seascape,  Light Horizontal , Amid Ferns)