The Crystal Tears series was conceived as a cathartic project born out of the estrangement of someone close to the artist. "It was two years since we'd last spoken. I was heartbroken, like I was mourning the loss of the living. It was grating away at me, so I needed to expel how I felt." she explains. (Read more below photos.)
See more of Kylie's work on instagram at @K.Ruszczynski
Taking black and white negatives of recent self portraits, projected by the enlarger, she placed objects the images(Swarovski crystals and netting from a traditional widow's veil) under the eyes where tear drops would naturally fall, during the exposure to create a series of photograph/photograms.
This choice of process was inspired by Ruszczynski's 2005 work "Solar Tetes", in which she first explored photograph/photogram techniques; a process made famous by Man Ray. Though at the time of printing, the artist had not yet seen him produce images utilising the two processesa at the same time.
Ruszczynski's images evoke the feeling of the Man Ray solarization & photogram period; a period of strong experimentation, chance AND collaboration. As most know, it was Lee Miller who turned on the light in the darkroom during the sheet film processing, which gave birth to the solar portraits he is famous for. Though the artist has not sought to create an hommage, a new contemporary rendering of these processes has been born.
The Solarization process involves hand developing her prints & exposing the wet print - still in the developer - to light. The photogram component uses objects that link the particles of the story together. The standard photographic part binds all three processes together to create one unified image AND a print that is unmistakably as unique as a painting.
The collaborators in the story, one might argue, are the divided family members that harboured an elongated silence.Their actions planted a seed in the heart of the artist to expel her emotions into her work. Human suffering can be named here as the accomplice.