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Nancy Edelstein~ Washington

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Nancy Edelstein: “I am drawn to common materials, used in uncommon ways, to enhance perception. I have been a conceptual photographer for many years and have a continued interest in the perception of light and shadow. I am currently in a transitional phase of art making induced by my investigations during the interdisciplinary MFA program I began (2021). My studies have led me to work in three dimensional space, combining photographic and sculptural elements. My interest in light is fed by my affinity for interior spaces, and the color of mixed light from multiple sources bouncing off walls. I’m equally interested in the brilliant intensity of pure sunlight casting shadows through the window. Such a light is always welcome and asks to be noticed during its fleeting visits. The challenge is to find new ways of looking to discover the ways I haven’t seen it before.”


Friday Night Dinners
By Nancy Edelstein
Washington: Nancy Edelstein, 2017. Edition of 5.

8.75” x 6” x 1.75”; 74 pages including 38 photographs and 21 vellum additions. Accordion structure. Housed in clamshell box. Printing by A & A Printing. Book binding by Andrea Kohler. Bound in illustrated hard covers. Design and photography by Nancy Edelstein. Numbered.

Artist statement: "Nancy Edelstein is a fine art photographer and book maker whose work explores memory and the objects that preserve it. ‘Friday Night Dinners’ brings together visual and story-telling components to reveal the power of forgotten memories held in her grandmother’s porcelain dishes. This project is the culmination of her unique photographic process, resulting in fine art digital prints and a handmade artist book, honoring those layered images with personal stories of a lost family tradition.

Contained within are printed translucent vellum pages, enhancing and obscuring the images beneath. As each vellum page is turned, new views of the same spread are revealed."

“After opening a box given to me by my mother, I realized that the dishes inside held stories that were both personal and universal. These Danish porcelain plates, bowls and serving pieces, twenty years earlier, had been the backdrop for my grandmother’s beautiful table settings every Friday night for the first 18 years of my life. Their translucent texture and hand painted waves and sky, seagulls and sea creatures, had gone unnoticed by me all those years. I was now inspired to capture close ups of these exquisite details which I then modified in a variety of ways and printed on vellum pages. Many of these abstractions were sandwiched together and reshot through a light box, creating unique, softly layered compositions.

“As the project developed, forgotten memories of family moments and traditions surfaced, and it became clear that these dishes held the imprint of my family’s history. This work has evolved into both a series of fine art images and an installation, as well as an artist's book of the same name.”

Friday Night Dinners book
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Page last update: 02 .17. 2023


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