Talmadge Krajowsky's "The Hand of a Woman Unfit For Motherhood" delves into the issue of infertility
Photography is not always just for the viewer. It can be an internal journey for the photographer. For Talmadge Krajowsky, this series dealt with very personal issues. Following is her bio in her words:
"I'm an artist/photographer currently working on my MFA at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, and much of my work deals with the female experience. This particular series is a personal story of longing and desire for the intangible.
These images were shot on Polaroid 600 black and white film with a very old camera, which resulted in some unexpected and ghostly outcomes. To further the surreal feeling, I painted on some of the images (I create the paints myself) and others I created by transferring images onto the frame with a homemade brew of chemicals."
Talmadge's instagram is @talkphoto
ALTER/ANALOG: You stated that you created the paints that were used in these images. What is the process to make them?
TK: I mix permanent markers (I prefer Sharpie brand because they come in so many colors) with a combination of isopropyl alcohol and vodka. Once painted on, the alcohol rapidly evaporates and leaves behind the stain on the glossy surface of the film that stays put and doesn’t lift off when it’s dry
ALTER/ANALOG: Can you describe the process of transferring images onto the frame of would you like to keep that a secret? ;)
TK: I’d love to say I have this tried and true method that I could actually share and teach, but it’s trial and error. I’ve tried acetone, transfer mediums, rubbing photocopies off velum. They all produce different effects and sometimes work and other times make a mess. That’s the beauty of it for me – the unknown – I have no idea what I’m going to create.
ALTER/ANALOG: Your work deals with the female experience. The theme of this work is desire for the intangible. What other themes have you explored?
TK: I try to take pieces from my life and my own experiences to build stories that I think have universal meaning. This project started out as a journey about my failed attempts at having children, but morphed into an exploration of all those elusive things we desire but can’t quite grasp and often grieve for. Last year I did a project called Fat Bitch that was part performance, part social experiment, and part self-exploration. It dealt with female stereotypes and tropes, but ultimately told a story of how we are conditioned to look at women both in front of and behind the camera. I’m currently working on a photo essay called Mileage, which is about being a middle-aged woman – that space in life between young and old, and attempting to find meaning and peace while living in a culture that is obsessed with youth and beauty.
ALTER/ANALOG: How did you get your start with instant film?
TK: I started out as a film photographer as a teenager. My dad worked for Kodak and built a darkroom in our basement when I was in high school. I switched over to digital about 12 years ago, but recently I have a growing dissatisfaction with trying to keep up with the technology. I use a 25 year old Polaroid camera and a 50 year old Nikon F for most of my film work – I like to keep it simple. Polaroid has that same instant gratification as digital, but you’re creating this one-of-a-kind object that can’t ever be duplicated, and that’s a really powerful thing in the copy/paste digital age. I also recently saw a copy of Robert Frank’s book, Seven Stories, which is a collection of his Polaroids that he published in a series of small books, and was completely blown away with his ability to use Polaroids for storytelling.