Buddha #1
Chemically toned photogram- cliche verre, unique

This series emerges from my travels in Asia some years ago. I have often been interested in exploring the idea of a sacred image. I was very intrigued by the repetitive image of the Buddha and its contextualization within the cultural and natural environment. Often the images were frescoes in limestone caves and the paintings had been transformed by the dripping of calcium and water over many decades.

Each piece in this series is one of a kind, and is the result of a process that sounds more complex than it really is. I started with a series of ink drawings of the Buddha image that were made on a large roll of paper tacked to my studio wall. The paper was marked off in a grid, and in each square I made a drawing. I then selected certain images, cut them out of the grid and used them to make a photographic print in the darkroom. It is something of a combination between the technique known as cliche-vere and the photogram. Both of these processes are part of the early history of photography. Because of the distinctive qualities of photographic materials, the image has a more luminous quality than is otherwise obtainable.

The drawing, on translucent paper, is basically used loosely as a negative and the resultant image is a unique photographic print. No two images are alike because the drawing is not printed in contact with the photographic paper. The final image is toned and streaked using a variety of photographic toners. They are silver gelatin prints and are an archivally stable image.
Buddha Photogram Series