Photography uses glass and geometry to redirect rays of light from the 3-dimensional world to a 2-dimensional surface. Origami is the art of folding flat paper into a 3-dimensional structure. We are 3-dimensional, with all our complexity and baggage, but others see us by way of our 2-dimensional surfaces. And we are folded and creased by what has happened to us.
The act of folding rearranges parts, placing opposites and complements next to each other. Unfolding takes apart the big picture and separates it into pieces. Folding is like a mantra. There is, as with all art, a tediousness to the process that can bring comfort.
Using a variety of film and alternative-process techniques -- silver gelatin, Polaroid, cyanotype, image transfers, emulsion lifts -- all of the photographs in Folded Light, Folded Words incorporate origami in some way, either as subject matter or, more-often, as an integral part of the photographic process itself. In some cases, origami techniques are used to fold the flat light-sensitive material into the very camera used to take the photograph. And so the print was the camera. Other examples allow the folding or unfolding process, in the darkroom, to juxtapose or separate elements of an image, to make something entirely new out of an old negative.
The photographs are accompanied by poems and text by Ohio-based poet Elizabeth Breese, and Wisconsin poet Meredith Mason. The photographer and two poets worked both together and independently, sometimes responding to each other's work, sometimes not. The only "rule" was that there be a connection, even if roundabout, to origami. Breese and Mason were natural choices to be part of this project; not only are they excellent poets, but they are also both accomplished origamists.
In addition to the photographs and poems, the exhibition includes displays of the various origami models used to create the photographs, with credit given to their inventors.
A more detailed description of Folded Light, Folded Words can be found here.