6/2/13 5:29 PM
In their “Natural History” series, collaborators Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman overlay striking black-and-white portraits of women with delicate blue flowery veils. Each of the elements in the process is old: the Roman bust-influenced poses, the women, the cyanotype technique, the idea of veiling, even the botanicals themselves. And yet, entirely new effects arise from their combination, going far beyond any simple equation of older women and the authority they most certainly deserve to be recognized with. Silhouettes printed with distinct facial detail confirm their sources as individuals rather than types. Wrinkles remain visible but cede place of honor to branches and plant fronds. Floral patterns replace skin to suggest the visibility of blood-filled veins and neural pathways underneath. Bold blue designs mark faces with the tribal tattoos of ancient warriors. Ciurej and Lochman prove not that what’s old can be new again, but that what’s old can be relevant, powerful and revelatory—especially when approached in novel ways.