Tag Archives: Elizabeth Opalenik

Mordançage Workshop with Elizabeth Opalenik – July 2022

Over the weekend of July 15-17 Art Intersection hosted a Mordançage workshop instructed by Mordançeuse Elizabeth Opalenik. Students experienced a range of papers, developers, and print making techniques in their exploration of Mordançage.

Image Credit: Elizabeth Opalenik

Image Credit: Suzanne Fallender

Image Credit: Suzanne Fallender

Image Credit: Suzanne Fallender

Image Credits: Elizabeth Opalenik (1-5), Suzanne Fallender (4-9)

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Elizabeth Opalenik – Considering Possibilities

Exhibition
Considering Possibilities
moves the viewer through the intentional mystical imagery of Elizabeth’s photography that breaks the realism of photography to the moods only available through the magic of experimental and alternative photographic processes.

Ryan Gallery presents a collection of prints by Elizabeth Opalenik with Mordançage work also found in her book Poetic Grace, the never exhibited platinum print series from her personal experiences A Journey Home, and a collection carbon prints created using the same negatives from her Mordançage prints.

Elizabeth will join us for the opening reception on July 16 from 5pm to 8pm, and on Friday July 15 at 7pm she will give a talk about her art and experiences as a photographer. 

About Elizabeth
Elizabeth spun a map on a lazy-susan in 1968 and left home to the sound of peace marches and her mother saying, “I knew you were different from the time you were two.” She discovered photography as a metaphor for life in 1979 at the Maine Photographic Workshops and discovered passion and possibilities in Provence in 1983 where she later began her evolution as a Mordançeuse. Traveling through six continents, camera in hand, she connects life’s possibilities through teaching workshops, humanitarian projects and making art.

“I am a photographic artist, educator and freelance photographer traveling the world with my camera and I love it. Philanthropic projects keep me grounded and connected universally.

I believe that all good photographs are self portraits and know that my many former lives manifest themselves in my images. My heart is still in my darkroom working in the Mordançage process, but I use today’s technology when appropriate to explore all the creative paths.

My photographs are collected and published internationally and all work is for sale. Mordançage images are unique, others are silver gelatin, platinum, hand painted or digitally printed in very limited editions on beautiful handmade papers.”

– Elizabeth Opalenik

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Light Sensitive

Art Intersection presents Light Sensitive, our twelfth, international juried exhibition of images created using traditional darkroom, historical, and alternative photographic processes and methods. This year we are honored to have photographer and alternative photography process artisan Elizabeth Opalenik jury the submitted work.

As we have seen technology trends continue to drive digital photography and presentation, Light Sensitive highlights art from artists working in traditional and historical printing processes.

Light Sensitive seeks to celebrate, promote, and reaffirm the art of handcrafted prints that uniquely belong to the tradition of light sensitive creative processes. Each year we are in search for work that represents creativity, passion, and displays the beauty of these light sensitive processes.

Banner images by Randall Tosh, Lynn Bierbaum, Mary Nation


Awards

Choosing awards in the diverse juried selections of this year’s Light Sensitive presents the challenge to weigh qualitative aesthetics of the presentation, with the strength of the image, and technical mastery of the process. From cyanotype to platinum to ambrotype prints, the wide gamut of techniques and presentations made a formidable task to assign awards. Presenting awards acknowledges accomplishment and excellence in presentation, image, and technique, and encourage everyone to continue to push their work through into the next level.

Congratulations to the awardees and everyone juried into Light Sensitive.

First Place – Lou McCorkle
Second Place – Marita Gootee
Third Place – William W. Fuller
Award of Excellence for Collaborative Work – Kenro Izu / Veritas Editions
Honorable Mentions – Gary Baker, Chuck Davis, Sarah S. Curley, Jon Jeffery, Annie Lopez, Marek Matusz, Alyssa McKenna, Mary A.  Nation, Cyd Peroni, Phyllis Schwartz, Fred Ullrich, Angela Franks Wells, Ryan Zoghlin


About the Juror

Elizabeth spun a map on a lazy-susan in 1968 and left home to the sound of peace marches and her mother saying, “I knew you were different from the time you were two.” She discovered photography as a metaphor for life in 1979 at the Maine Photographic Workshops and discovered passion and possibilities in Provence in 1983 where she later began her evolution as a Mordançeuse. Traveling through six continents, camera in hand, she connects life’s possibilities through teaching workshops, humanitarian projects and making art. 

“I am a photographic artist, educator and freelance photographer traveling the world with my camera and I love it. Philanthropic projects keep me grounded and connected universally.

I believe that all good photographs are self portraits and know that my many former lives manifest themselves in my images. My heart is still in my darkroom working in the Mordançage process, but I use today’s technology when appropriate to explore all the creative paths.

My photographs are collected and published internationally and all work is for sale. Mordançage images are unique, others are silver gelatin, platinum, hand painted or digitally printed in very limited editions on beautiful handmade papers.”

– Elizabeth Opalenik


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Mordançage Workshop with Elizabeth Opalenik

3-day Mordançage Workshop with Elizabeth Opalenik, July 15, 16, 17, 2022, from 9am to 5pm each day with lunch included.

I vividly remember that first Provence meeting in 1983 when I heard Jean-Pierre Sudre say, “In mordançage you have the possibility….” For the next 30 summers I visited his studio and work discovering them all while learning the process in 1991 directly from this master. In this workshop we shall begin with a brief history of the mordançage process, looking at original work as we gather valuable insight into directions for making it your own creative voice.

Together we mix the chemistry and begin with an instructor demonstration on understanding the test strips to discover proper exposures for negatives and working with photograms, which is the best way to learn the possibilities. Mordançage takes time to master when working with intent and begins with a darkroom print. Information on making negatives, film or digital, and materials to bring shall be sent prior to the workshop. You will discover, when the silver print is put through the mordançage solution, the silver gelatin in the densest areas of the photographic print swell and can be removed with the pressure of a jet of water or cotton ball. Darkroom days will be spent testing various paper and redeveloper combinations, experimenting with oxidation, toners and hand painting to alter color, and deciding to save or not to save the veils. Often, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Papers, chemicals and notebooks with formulas will be supplied. 

After more than 30 years of committing to the mordançage process, Elizabeth has many possibilities, pitfalls and discoveries to share. Working collectively with a group of photographic peers, students can combine information on papers available today to further enhance their creativity. Experimenting is highly encouraged. A working knowledge of the darkroom is essential.

As artists, we much each find our way and hope to leave something of value behind. The “draped spidery veils” in the images are my contribution to this process, accomplished by using my breathe or drops of water to preserve and alter the delicate floating silver skin. As such, each piece is unique and truly made by hand even when created using the same negative.

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