June 2017

Featured Artist

Denis Roussel

Colorado by Night

The American west, as captured by pioneer photographers and painters, has become mythic. We long for wide open spaces and pristine landscapes in which we can feel at one with Nature. But truly wild places are disappearing across the country. Nature has been conquered – divided in parcels and commodified.

Living in Colorado for the last 10 years, I have stood in awe before majestic peaks and stunning vistas. Yet, the landscape is increasingly inundated by people. Experiencing a meaningful and authentic connection to the environment is a growing challenge.

For this reason, I have been venturing out at night and photographing the star-and-moon-lit landscape. Surrounded by darkness, having to rely more heavily on others senses than sight, I can have a more visceral experience. And, although there are still signs of human activity (planes’ lights blinking their way across the sky, noises of far-away cars, light pollution from cities) it is easier to ignore the intensity of modern life and concentrate on the timeless qualities of Nature.

After first using a digital camera, I produce digital negatives and finish by hand-printing the images using an antiquated process: cyanotype. The resulting aesthetic transforms the photographs from straightforward documentation of the subject into a more lyrical and expressive representation of Nature.

I was born in 1976 in France. I studied chemical engineering in Rennes, France, before completing an MA and an MFA, both in photography, in the USA.

Since graduating, I have explored scientific imagery as a medical photographer, I have shared my passion for fine art photography as an adjunct faculty and I have continued my exploration of the medium.

In the past several years I have been increasingly involved with historical and alternative processes. I have produced several series of wet-plate collodion photographs. I have also worked on a multi-year project focusing on recycling and composting using a multitude of techniques, from cyanotype photographs to lumen printing and anthotypes.

I have been living in Colorado for the past 10 years where I have regularly showed my work. I have also exhibited in France, at Oyonnax and during the “Quinzaine Photo Nantaise” in my hometown. Most recently my project on composting and recycling has been shown at the UNI art gallery and the Center for Fine Art Photography.