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Christopher Colville: FLUX – Behind the Image, Meditations on the Northern Hemisphere 4

photo-eye Gallery Christopher Colville: FLUX
Behind the Image
Opening & Artist Reception: Friday, April 26th, 5–7pm Phoenix-based photographer Christopher Colville discusses making one of FLUX's signature images Meditations on the Northern Hemisphere 4

Christopher Colville – Meditation on the Northern Hemisphere 4, 2011, Unique Silver-Gelatin Print, 20x24" Image, $4000

Christopher Colville’s photography is unexpectedly graceful. One might anticipate a more blatant violent effect when viewing images created by firing gunpowder on top of silver gelatin photographic paper, but Colville’s works evoke a range of descriptive words like fluid, subtle, dark, mysterious. However, there is certainly a sense of explosiveness prevalent in the work; the gunpowder physically burns and erodes the photographic paper even as it activates the light-sensitive silver gelatin to create Colville’s ethereal, yet tactile images. Interspersed with the more fluid atmospheric photographs, some of the works bring to mind a spray of fireworks across the sky, lunar bodies, eroded metal, or a brutally pockmarked topography. Colville claims that he is inspired by the idea of making work that is the “direct result of an action,” and that inspiration is overtly present across each work.

photo-eye Gallery is excited to welcome Colville as a represented gallery artist with Flux, a solo exhibition opening Friday, April 26th from 5-7pm. Flux features images from three different series by Colville. Dark Hours includes images that resemble landscapes, and the most recent works, or Flux Variants, are all created with long, narrow paper.

The earliest series featured in Flux, called Meditations of the Northern Hemisphere, features images of large, circular orbs centered in the composition. This series is created using a metal disc, punctured with a pattern of constellations, which is placed in on the paper during the explosions. These works create a celestial map of sorts. In a recent conversation with photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly, Colville elaborated on the process and conceptual framework behind the Meditations on the Northern Hemisphere series:

"A few years ago I had a conversation with a friend while camping in the desert. We were discussing understanding the calendar and time through the night sky and were trying to remember the season of specific camping trips by constellations we had viewed around the campfire. The following weekend I found a metal disc in the desert that reminded me of maps I had of constellations when I was a child. Wanting to better learn the night sky I punched out a map of the constellations on this metal disc to use as a scaffolding or negative to filter gunpowder driven exposures. The small burn marks in the circle are a rough map of the night sky. Each of the prints in the Northern Hemisphere series is made with the same map, using varying combinations of powder and pressure to allow the piece to transform. These were the first variant prints I made." – Christopher Colville

FLUX Installation Views

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Opening & Artist Reception: 
Friday, April 26th, 5–7pm
Come meet Christopher Colville!

Exhibition on view through Saturday, June 22nd
All works listed were available for at the time this post was published.

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x202 or