The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before. In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find. Please DO NOT send me your work. I do not take submissions.
Today’s featured artist: Zach Henderson
Dark Matter III Artist Statement
In 2017 I was in the midst of a creative drought. I had no vision, no subject, and no inspiration. I had recently become interested in natural science and was voraciously consuming information on astrophysics, particle physics, gravitational waves, black holes, and anything else I found interesting that a photographer had no business learning about. In an attempt to bring together this interest in natural science with my work, I set out to create an abstract representation of something that, by definition, is impossible to photograph dark matter, a theoretical form of matter which doesn’t interact with the visible spectrum and can’t be directly detected, yet is responsible for keeping galaxies, like our own Milky Way, glued together with its gravity. I began experimenting with ceramic magnets and iron grains, relying on the invisible force of magnetism to coerce the iron grains into unique forms in a way that I imagined dark matter particles interacting with normal matter as viewed from a bulk, in which both are visible. Inspired by science, yet unencumbered by its rigors, I set out to make something visible and tactile from that awe of the nature of reality while still nodding to its intangibility.
Now in its third iteration, Dark Matter is beginning to transcend its original purpose. The sculpture’s ambiguous scale sometimes illustrates itself as massive celestial space stations, suspended in nebulae, able to reorganize themselves depending on the task, and capable of bending spacetime in ways we can’t comprehend. When viewed at their intended size, I recognize a similarity to images created by electron microscope and imagine the structures as odd, microscopic life forms having evolved from a completely separate evolutionary tree, able to thrive in the micro-gravity of space by using magnetism to maintain their composition.
Whatever thoughts come to mind from viewing these images, for me they represent a celebration of the knowable and unknowable forms of nature and their ultimate ability to pluck at the strings of human curiosity.
To see more of this project, click here
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades. After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. Follow her at @SuzanneSease. Instagram