Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

TRANSLUCENCE: Jacqui Dean’s Xrayograms

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Translucence invitation

Translucence invitation



Translucence @ 2 Danks Street Gallery . . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart


Another Universe


From the late 19th, and into the early 20th century there was a growing movement in the sciences and the arts that associated with Nature’s inherent resonance of form and structure from the microscopic to the cosmic. These new vistas and universes were recorded not only by the scientists’ hand but also by new developments in technology, notably the invention of the photographic process. Visual communication through imaging technologies continues to be an important tool in scientific research. But these images were not just useful as scientific evidence they were and continue to be inspiration for the creative work of artists and designers.

One noted exemplar utilising this visual medium was Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932), a sculptor, metal craftsman and teacher. Blossfeldt began taking photographs of botanical specimens to use in his classes as ideas for students to create design forms from nature. But Blossfeldt’s work became very influential in the art, craft and design movement that popularised natural forms as templates for architecture, sculpture and 3D design work. His photographic documentation revealed abstract views of humble everyday roadside plants as visually interesting structural and aesthetic forms. As a result, Blossfeldt’s photographs also became renowned as works of fine art.

Jacqui Dean’s exhibition Translucence, at 2 Danks Street Gallery, Sydney, is the result of artistic curiosity and visual investigation natural forms through the phenomenon of Xrays. Art in this respect is the revelation of the unseen, the beholding of the essence within ordinary objects or a transforming perception of the everyday experience. The photograph, or in this case ‘xrayograph’, seals the object within the frame safe from the changes and inevitable decay over time. At first glance these images could appeal to the naturalist or perhaps a student of design (after Blossfeldt). Yet a deeper – more poetic vision immanent in nature is also suggested through a more contemplative viewing of these images.

Some may argue that this is an uncomfortable clash between the modernist and the romantic, or the objectivity of scientific evidence and the subjective imagination. But could this work identify with a need to embrace a sense of wonder rarely seen within a super-hyped, virtual digital-image society? Dean’s work in Translucence is informed by the poetry of music and her life’s experiences and her prodigious professional practice in photography. However the rewards for the thoughtful viewer will be to share in her wonder of the natural world that surrounds and nourishes our everyday life.

Victoria Cooper . . . June 9, 2013.



Rose Xrayogram by Jacqui Dean


Tulips Xrayogram by Jacqui Dean



Translucence Opening Crowd . . iPhone Pano: Doug Spowart

Robert McFarlane preparing his opening remarks . . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart

Robert McFarlane preparing his opening remarks . . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart.


Jacqui, Josef Lebovic and Robert McFarlane . . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart

Translucence x2. . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart

More Translucence. . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart




Jacqui Dean’s Website:  http://deanphotographics.com.au/fine-art/

Interview by Gemma Piali of FBi Radio, Sydney: http://fbiradio.com/interview-jacqui-dean-on-translucence/

Review from Simone Whelton ABC702  http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/05/31/3659500.htm

“Translucence: Jacqui Dean – A jam packed opening on a Tuesday night meant it was a little hard to see some of the stunning black and white prints that Jacqui Dean has featured in her new exhibition Translucence but I pushed my way through the crowds and was delighted at the little moments of gentle quiet that descended on me as I stared at each picture, delicately constructed. This is spectacular still life photography featuring mainly Australian flowers (orchids and native flowers) and using a combination of x-ray and digital imaging. Tucked away towards the back of the exhibition is a series of photos of beautiful shells. Known for her photographs of architecture (interiors and landscape), this exhibition is part of Head On. Take a few minutes to pop in and enjoy the works! When and where: on at The Depot, 2 Danks Street, Waterloo now until June 8.”


Xrayograms: © Jacqui Dean

Review text © 2013 Victoria Cooper

All iPhone photographs  © 2013 Doug Spowart


Creative Commons-by-nc-nd.eu

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



One Response

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  1. Looks amazing! Peter and Charmaine

    Peter Rossi

    June 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

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