Stormy weather - Page 2

Sean McFarland blends photography and collage to picture us
Tracks, 2008

Can you tell me a bit about your approach to collage, and also if there are any collage artists whom you especially like?

SM Lately I've been working to make the collage process less apparent. In the past, the images took the final form of a C-Print, made in a darkroom. Now I'm using Polaroid film. Polaroids are mementos and souvenirs of moments, places, and things that actually happened; they imply that whatever is in the picture was witnessed, was real. Since I can't really take the images I'm making, I'm using collage to do so. A good example is my image of the airplane flying over the black ocean and white land. The picture of the plane is taken from a satellite image of Earth, the land is a photograph I made in the Exploratorium (it's a picture of an exhibit that shows how land is changed by wind currents).

SFBG Books are a big visual inspiration to me, so I liked seeing you cite the Field Guide to North American Weather and Gerhard Richter's Atlas as two recent sources of fascination and perhaps material. What drew you to those books and what do you like about them?

SM I enjoy those books because they are both wonderful collections. I work from an archive of several thousand images. This is probably why Atlas is so fascinating to me. It's the source material (mostly photographs) that Richter uses in his work and it made me even more interested in his work. I like the Field Guide because all the pictures in it are of weather-based natural phenomena. Some of the photographs in it are pretty hard to believe, but actually happened.


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