Excogitation by Sloan Tomlinson

January 26 - February 28, 2020

Opening Reception: Sunday, January 26, 2020 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Sloan Tomlinson Artist Statement:

My intention when I construct these self-portraits is to create the feeling of an engaging narrative. I want the viewer to be transported into the middle of a story, not the beginning, and not the end, but somewhere in the middle. For me, there is a great deal of appreciation for the period of time between Victorian and the 1930s, a period of time fraught in invention, creation, discovery, conflict, and hardship. I take hints from this period to create my tale, my ultimate goal is that when someone views these images they are exceedingly interested in how the subject got to this point, and especially curious as to what will transpire after. I love to use texture and composition to achieve this goal, working with both natural and artificial light I make sure that the image is captured at the lowest possible speed to engrave the light deeper into the image. Flying against the all too common practice for portraiture of shooting at a low ƒ-stop to blur the background bringing immediate focus to the subject, I choose instead to close the aperture down as low as possible, so the subject becomes a part of it’s surroundings, and everything becomes important. Detail is paramount when I create images, be it film, digital, or illustration.

When shooting with cameras, either film or digital, I strive to create a connection between myself in the subject, be it living or inanimate. I’m not one to fire off a bunch of shots and hope for the best. When I sit with a stylus of some sort to draw, I often start with the eyes, and go from there, working the creature (be it real or imaginary) as if it was alive in front of me.

My goal is to create images that swim with a certain mood. Dark and stormy, with rich colors popping out, playing with light to invoke a introspective and thought provoking mood. I like to harken back to periods between the turn of the century and the 1930s. A time of darkness but also light.

Sloan Tomlinson Bio:
I have been working with bending and twisting standard practices of photography for over 20 years now, working almost exclusively with film until more recently. From my brightly colored Lux Instrosum series working with chemical alteration of film, to my more recent work playing with the complexity of light in his self-portraits. I like to play with the scientific nature of art, working with my other love of nature and animal biology, I create work in 3D, illustration, design, and of course photography. I was first drawn to photography over 20 years ago in high school; I loved the chemical reactions, and experimenting with how I could alter them, sometimes to extremes. I loved the idea of working with photography at its most basic essence; capturing light. Although I still shoot film regularly, I have become more interested in the last two years or so in digital, and how I can manipulate that in different ways than I can with film. I grew up in Michigan to two very academic and intellectual parents, being an only child I fast became an extreme version of an autodidact. Teaching myself almost everything I now know. I moved to Massachusetts 16 years ago, and have loved working in the Valley amongst the wealth of talent. I currently reside in Hatfield on 90 acres of marsh, pasture, wetland, and wood where I work out of my home studio enjoying my love of nature while doing photography, illustration, design, and also printing archival pigment prints for various local artists.  I also will be curating third year of my creation; the Monster Arts Project, this October in Eastworks.