Thoughts on naming artwork

by Kathleen Gerdon Archer

Kathleen Gerdon Archer, A Single Picture Appeared, 34″ x 48”
2017, polypropylene print on Sintra
Gallery owners prefer that artists work have titles but deciding on one can be frustrating work for an artist.
My titles are sentence fragments taken from favorite books: those that perfectly explain in words what I am saying with my photography. It is amazing that writers, photographers and other creatives can portray the very same thoughts, as if of one mind, in such uniquely different media. 
My recent photographic series, Fare Well: The Art of Ending, employs a narrative structure with timelessness, geology, and personal family history at its core. My effort is to show the scope and immensity of one life.
To make my photographs I first build an ice sculpture filled with memorabilia pertaining to the person I am profiling. With each form I create, an individual life is celebrated in all its scope and importance.
Tinkers, the beautifully written Pulitzer Prize winning book by author Paul Harding became the source of the titles for my work of the last seven years. It is a huge story in a small volume. The Pulitzer board called the novel “a powerful celebration of life in which a New England father and son, through suffering and joy, transcend their imprisoning lives and offer new ways of perceiving the world and mortality.” 
The sentence fragments I choose as titles pair the author’s beautiful words with my abstract image, leaving room for the viewers interpretation.
Kathleen Gerdon Archer, Phantoms in a Silver Mist, 36 x 36”, 2017,
Polypropylene Print mounted on Sintra under Plexiglas
Kathleen Gerdon Archer, Sleep is Another World, 42 x 48”, 2017,
Polypropylene Print mounted on Sintra under Plexiglas
Kathleen Gerdon Archer, Not at Ease in this World, 45 x 48”, 2017,
Polypropylene Print mounted on Sintra under Plexiglas
The exhibition Fare Well: The Art of Ending is on view at Kingston Gallery through October 1, 2017.


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