KCC to host photography exhibit “Talbot’s Ghost” by WMU professor Ginger Owen-Murakami

Ginger Owen-Murakami's gum bichromate print "Specimen #4356."

Kellogg Community College will host an exhibit of nearly two dozen photographs by Western Michigan University photography professor Ginger Owen-Murakami this month and next on campus in Battle Creek.

The exhibit, titled “Talbot’s Ghost,” will run from Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Feb. 14, in the Eleanor R. and Robert A. DeVries Gallery of the Davidson Visual and Performing Arts Center, on campus at 450 North Ave. The exhibit is free and open to the public for viewing during regular business hours, which are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

An opening reception for the exhibit, also free and open to the public, will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in the gallery.

The exhibit features 19 photographic prints created via gum bichromate and cyanotype print processes, which were used in the years before modern film technologies were developed and popularized. The works were inspired by Owen-Murakami’s month-long residency at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, England, once home to 19th century photography pioneer, inventor and artist William Henry Fox Talbot.

In her artist’s statement, Owen-Murakami said these particular mediums were chosen “due to their painterly approach akin to the processes that Talbot invented.”

“Both require hand coating a substrate with a chemical solution, contact printing a negative to the substrate, exposing both in UV light, developing then drying the print,” Owen-Murakami said. “Rubbings on tracing paper of ‘the most iconic door’ in the history of photography, Talbot’s gravestone and cross-sections of felled trees located on the abbey property were used as negatives to artistically print to scale cyanotype images of their subjects.”

Owen-Murakami is a professor and area co-coordinator of Photography and Intermedia studies at WMU. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of Central Florida, and has lectured, worked and exhibited internationally.

For more information about the “Talbot’s Ghost” exhibit or other KCC arts events, contact KCC’s Arts and Communication offices at 269-965-4126. For more information about the artist, visit gingerowen.com.

Pictured above is Ginger Owen-Murakami’s gum bichromate print “Specimen #4356.”

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