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July 26, 2007
North South East West (Sketch 6), 2006, by Hannah Guy
I first saw Hannah Guy's work in Arles, France, earlier this month, thanks to an introduction by Mark Foxwell. She's made two bodies of work that each address the same subject — how we can perceive a solitary tree in a field.
With her first approach, she made large-format photographs of a single tree in a field, each photo of the same tree taken from four points of view (North, South, East, West). Then she combined these four highly detailed photographs and printed them as one platinum palladium print (as in the photo shown above). She repeated the approach with several solitary trees, garnering unique composites with each attempt.
Then, to capture the same trees another way, she circled each tree with her camera on a tripod, stopping every three degrees to make yet another still portrait of the tree from a set distance. Thus, with 120 still images for each tree, she put them together in a sequence as an animation, which is dizzying and delightful.
She says, "My practice is situated between photography and film. The point at which the still appears to become a moving image fascinates me."
You can see examples of the still-composites, as well as a shortened version of the animation, online at Lens Culture. The results are hypnotic and beautiful. And I love the way so many techniques are combined so well (film, platinum, quicktime) to offer fresh, new views of the familiar.