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Introducing Blake Chorley

Reception: join us for our 6th Annual “So You Didn’t Get Out of Town for Stampede” Cocktail Hour Friday July 14, 5-7 pm Artist Talk at 6:oo pm

As a genre, landscape art rose to prominence in the seventeenth-century thanks to French painters Claude Lorraine and Nicholas Poussin. Though initially relegated to the backgrounds of more important subjects, the awe-inspiring power of nature struck a chord with artists which continues to endure today. Nowadays, landscape art is so ubiquitous it is sometimes considered a trope (just think of the 59+ million #landscape tags on Instagram), so it is a rare work indeed, which sets itself apart from the crowd.

A quick glance of Blake Chorley’s black and white images could easily be misinterpreted as vintage photographs of the Canadian landscape, but closer inspection reveals much more at play. Though “printed” using a wet plate technique from the 1850s, Chorley’s ambrotypes are the result of his own invention—a mash-up of digital and analog layering techniques—which offers a fresh take on the medium and breathes new life into the landscape. The resulting images are hauntingly beautiful portraits of the land which appear almost three-dimensional due to the physical separation between the foreground and background.

Blake Chorley is an emerging artist based in Calgary. He holds a BA from the University of Windsor and an MFA from the University of Calgary, and was recently awarded First Place in the Exposure Photography Festival’s Emerging Photographer Showcase (2017). His unique photographs are the product of countless hours of study and field research spent developing an experimental process which combines digital, film, and plate photographic techniques.

"I wanted to look at photography not as three different processes, plate, film, and digital, but rather I wanted to find a way to make the evolution of photography work together as one complete process."                        

– Blake Chorley

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