My current work began in a time of abrupt change, upheaval, possibility and expansion while living out of the country for several months. It was an opportunity for a stand-alone project while away from the familiarity of home and studio. It became a way to navigate this new time and place.
I began to investigate liminality - the sense of being between things - by exploring liminal places (such as train stations, passageways, doorways, windows) and liminal states (such as the point between sleeping and waking).
The newness of the entire experience is also reflected in a new working process. This series is photography based. I make monoprints by transferring laser printed photographic images manually to translucent plastic film using an acrylic medium transfer process. The laser toner transfers into the medium on the plastic film. I then carefully peel and rub off the layers of paper. The result is a transparent image on translucent film.
There is push and pull between control of the process and surrender to the accidents that inevitably happen as the work is done while everything is wet. The imperfections - tears, scratches, finger marks, unevenness - are integral to the work. These marks contribute to the ephemeral, not-quite-solid feel I want and are often some of my favourite elements. I feel a sense of the time worn, like an old film negative or film strip. I have an ever growing appreciation for the fact that the best things often happen by chance while I am busy working.
Liminality has become an ongoing focus. I continue to be drawn to the ephemeral, fluid, layered and ambiguous, and to working with the language of light, shadow and reflection. I plan to keep exploring these themes through this photo-based work and in parallel through painting and drawing.
MaryAnn Camps is drawn to the abstract edges of shadow and suggestion. Her work places itself firmly on the edge of photography through a study of transitions – the play of light, shadow and reflection. Her works are manually transferred to translucent film to augment their ghostly and ephemeral qualities.
- Don Monet, owner and gallerist, Cube Gallery
MaryAnn Camps is an Ottawa-based painter and photographer. She began painting full time in 2005. Prior to that, she was a graphic designer for more than twenty years, in Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa. She began to include photography in her practice in 2016.
A synaesthete, her influences include painters Pierre Soulages, Gerhard Richter, Otto Donald Rogers and Tom Climent; photographers Josef Sudek, Frederick H. Evans and Edward Burtynsky; and musicians Nils Frahm, Medeski Martin and Wood, Radiohead, Brian Eno and Philip Glass.
Her work is held in private collections in Canada, U.S., Europe and South America. She is represented by Cube Gallery in Ottawa.