Photo by Catherine Elson

Photo by Catherine Elson

Carole Graham

As an artist and archaeologist living in the 21st century, my world is one in which the past is never far away--whether it's 10,000 or 150 or 5 years.  My childhood was filled with objects, stories, photographs, furniture, and buildings that directly connected me to people, places, and events of long ago. My career as an archaeologist has continued this sense of connection and the drive to know more about past peoples and their lives.

I am drawn to wet plate collodion photography because it is a time-intensive process that requires patience, attention to detail, and a certain level of physical skill.  I find that I am most creative when challenged by the restrictions of an artistic medium and this process has many.  Intellectually and aesthetically, I am a child of the 19th century, a period of innovation and great changes that have affected us all--scientifically, socially, politically, environmentally, and artistically--and not always for the better.  For me, wet plate collodion photography inspires a sense of wonder, and often awe.  It invites closer inspection, drawing the viewer in to savor the immaculate detail, and blurring the boundary between past and present.