reviews

REGAN STACEY
Jane

Poughkeepsie Journal - Thursday, October 11, 2007
by Kathleen Wereszynski Murray


"Jane"evokes nostalgic feelings with cyanotype photograms
Images give off a glow resembling ghostly apparitions

 

Thought-provoking independent movies are not the only draw in Woodstock this weekend. Besides the Woodstock Film Festival, a number of galleries will host opening receptions for photography exhibitions. One of the more unusual offerings is "Jane" at Galerie BMG.

The exhibition of cyanotype photograms by Regan Stacey evokes a feeling of nostalgia for childhoods' past.

Stacey, who lives in Mystic, Conn., places an antique girl's dress or vintage infant's socks on hand-coated, light-sensitive paper and exposes it to ultraviolet light. The print is then developed in water and left to oxidize to a cyan blue.

The cyanotype images give off a glow that resembles ghostly apparitions. Stacey's ghosts are of the friendly variety.

According to Stacey, "These cyanotype images reflect my constant struggle to bring the past into the present as a reminder of where we came from, who we came from and where we are going,".

 

Woodstock Times - October 25, 2007
by Paul Smart


Childhood's "Soft Shells" at BMG

There's photography, then there's art. Of the various shows featuring the blue-print stylizations embedded in the cyanotype process in the region now, Regan Stacey's at Galerie BMG in Woodstock is definitely the best. Combined with the rest of the fine art photos on view at BMG, her quietly powerful exhibition, simply and elegantly entitled "Jane," is a true autumnal treat, mixing the bittersweet with a brittle and keen eye.

The work here fills the main exhibition room at Bernard Gerson's intimate gallery on the Tannery Brook, a smallish space with one wall devoted to a picture window overlooking autumn leaves, stone walls, and cascading water. Stacey's images are of antique little girl dresses and underclothes, X-Ray-like in the way they probe things for evidence of life. Light filters through cloth the way memories subsume observation. Hung with a playful energy, it's hard to remember that a wall of nature is competing for one's attention.

"As childhood passes, it leaves behind a wardrobe of 'soft shells'; the only physical evidence of our small self," says Regan, who lives along the coast in eastern Connecticut and was inspired to create her current series after the birth of her daughter, named for her great-grandmother. "The use of period clothing allows us to envision and imagine previous generations as children."

Vulnerable, delicate, mutable, fleeting... the idea of "passing on."

Regan, whom Gerson discovered at a West Coast photo show earlier this year, says she chose the process she uses here for both "its vibrant, yet tranquil, blue tone" as well as its rich history. The cyanotype process was patented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel and was itself at the birth of photographic history.

She hand-applies light sensitive iron salt chemistry to paper, allows it to dry in the dark, then places an object of clothing on top and exposes it to light. When developed in water and allowed to oxidize to a cyan blue, the image leaves behind an almost ghostly impression. Each photogram is considered an original handmade print.

And all fit perfectly with the new Jeri Eisenberg wax-dipped color leaf photo diptychs and triptychs on loose paper in the gallery's front room.++