Cree Bruins creates abstract photographic images made from analog photographic production materials that are now no longer being manufactured and are seldom used due to the rise of digital photography. In her collages and installations, she recycles discarded 35 mm end leaders, photo gels, and processed or unprocessed slide and print film. Bruins is fascinated by what happens to the parts of film that bear no images but have sensitively recorded their passage through light, chemical baths and the drying process.
She says about her work, “The recent and rapid movement from film to digital photography has changed how we view our world and the pictures we produce.” Her goal is “to bring to light elements of space, time and memory to reclaim a medium that has all but faded into the past.” Metaphors of the process of “developing” are visible in the subtle transitions of color we see in the work, which displays a specific sense of the light captured on the film surfaces.
Bruins’ father was a Kodak researcher, so an interest in photographic materials comes naturally to her. Before embarking on her ten-year practice working with these collages, she was a nurse, and she draws a parallel between caregiving and restoring health to people and her practice of bringing new life to a nearly abandoned technology. As an artist, Bruins has been the recipient of numerous awards, including one from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in Drawing in 2010.
Because Cree works in a small apartment and has no formal studio, her work lives as a vision that won’t be seen until the show opens. However, the images included here give an indication of what there is to see in the gallery at Kingston this month. Come and expose yourself to Cree Bruin’s new work!