Jodie Hooker resides in Sacramento, California. She teaches photography and her work combines photography, drawing and painting. Gum printing is the favorite medium.
From: Sacramento, California, USA.
Shows: Gum bichromates, Chemigrams.
Landscape images have been used to represent spiritual ideas since the advent of Art. During the Pictorial photography movement, landscape photographs conveyed spiritual ideas and concepts of the sublime. Pictorial photographers favored gum dichromate printing for its painterly, ethereal qualities.
The gum dichromate landscapes, chemigrams and other alternative process photographs in the Capitol Reef and Wild garden series are also representative of spiritual inklings and sublime beauty. These images from Capital Reef National Park and South Western New Your State are symbols of retreat and spiritual seeking. When camping, hiking, painting, and photographing in nature I often recall a line from The Private Banquet by the poet Rumi:
“The sense of sight is too weak to take in this reality.”
For this artist, the quirks and flaws in alternative process photographs are an integral part of each image and a way of visualizing the spiritual unseen all around us.
A Note about Process:
Gum dichromate photographs are produced by color separating a digital image onto 3-4 different black and white negatives the same size as the print. One negative for each color, cyan, magenta, yellow and sometimes black. In the full color desert scenes a palladium print or cyanotype over palladium is used as the first layer on the paper. In the Wild Garden series all are tri-color gum over cyanotype prints. These photochemical layers give the image structure. One color and one layer at a time watercolor paint mixed with potassium dichromate is applied, exposed and developed. Once all primary colors are printed on top of the platinum or cyanotype layer a photograph mimicking natural color results. Each layer is a surprise and the resulting final print is a one of a kind image.
Coating silver-gelatin printing paper with a resist such as matt surface spray and then processing the paper in traditional darkroom chemicals produces Chemigrams. In this series a sketch based on the landscapes of Capital Reef National Park is incised into the surface spray exposing the paper. The paper is then moved from developer to fixative and back for random amounts of time. The incised lines turn black in developer and white in the fix and as the resist deteriorates black, purple, and brown textures and patterns appear. Each of these chemigrams was moved from bath to bath repeatedly over a six to eight hour period. The Resulting photograph is abstract but related to the desert forms in Capital Reef National Park.
- Email: jodiehooker (at) comcast.net