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The sense of history and landscape is almost palpable where Aspen Hochhalter and Natalie Abrams grew up, in the areas surrounding Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dusty red mesas and lined strata broken by pine forest and electric red scrub oak where one periodically finds fields of scorched and carbonized earth. Kitsch curio shops filled with rusty antiques and photo studios where people dress in period clothing to pose before an antique large-format camera where you too can look like the sheriff, a proper lady, or a not-so-proper lady.

This collaboration explores the transformation of form into space by the manipulation of perspective and scale through the photographic lens. As these elements shift in relation to each other our sense of scale is lost and the photographs cease to present merely form, but coalesce into ambiguous “scapes” that exude a sense of place, landscape and history. During the nineteenth century, wet plate collodion—one of the earliest photographic techniques—was used to document the exploration of the new frontiers in the American west; exotic, surreal landscapes emerged that challenged and expanded our experience of space and land. In this joint project, Hochhalter uses the wet plate collodion photo process to photograph Abrams’ sculptural works, at times drawing out the very grains of ochre pigment suspended in a wax based medium. The imperfections of voids and brush lines add to the sense of time. The monolithic presentation of these images enhance the connotations of ambiguous landscape that not only reference the cliff faces, monuments, mountains and river beds of the west, but also the bluffs and valley floors of the unexplored ocean floor.

Aspen Hochhalter attempts to see beyond the surface of an object, distorting the original and definitive reference. The use of antique photo processes, adding to the imperfections or details, further manipulates perspective and scale as seen through her photographic lens.

Natalie Abrams work examines suspended moments in time; the physical and textural experience of those moments, the delicate beauty of our surroundings and the difficulty of preserving the present. An environmentalist, Abrams has created a unique method of manipulating wax medium and other natural materials to create her highly sculptural works referencing natural habitats and landscape.