Unravelled couch 2 Black Shoes 1 Frame 11

 Melanie Walker

Melanie Walker has been a practicing artist for over 40 years. Her expertise is in the area of alternative photographic processes, digital and mixed media as well as large scale immersive photographic installations as well as public art. She attended San Francisco State University for a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Florida State University for an MFA. She has received a number of awards including an NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship and an Aaron Siskind Award. She taught at a number of universities including San Francisco State University, SUNY Albany, Alfred University and the University of Kentucky, Lexington. She currently teaches in the Media Arts Area at the University of Colorado Boulder and has work in many collections including LACMA, Center fro Creative Photography, Princeton Art Museum and San Francisco Museum of Art.

Walker and Walker: Songs for My Father (April 5-28, 2018)

Artist Statement

The exhibition will be one of the first exhibitions of the work of father, Todd Walker and daughter, Melanie Walker. All of the images generated in this exhibition were generated by Todd Walker. Both father and daughter share a curiosity about the materiality of photographic processes and have spent their lives pushing the boundaries of the medium. After many years of working with her father’s vast archive that spanned a career in photography of 60 years, Melanie Walker began working with some early images that had been ravaged by time in order to freeze them in their states of compromise. The images are treated in a variety of mixed media approaches from platinum/palladium prints to waxed infused Japanese Kozo paper to convey a sense of fragility and the fragmentary nature of time.

Melanie’s work:

These images have been in the making for over 50 years and represent a posthumous collaboration with my father, Todd Walker. His work done for hire was not cared for in the way he cared for his personal works. The negatives have been subjected to fluctuations in temperature and moisture and barely cling to the base of the film.  The images were made with the intention of a quick turn- around to entice consumerism at the beginning of what is now being referred to as the Anthropocene. The objects photographed probably have been absorbed into the new geologic strata. It is fitting these images barely cling to their base.

Working for the last 20 years sorting through my father’s vast archive, there are many destroyed negatives that would never be accepted into an archive due to their decayed state. I am intrigued by the way time has altered the negatives and has interacted with the images originally recorded during my childhood. They represent time capsules for me…perhaps back to the beginning of the anthropocene…frozen in a new form like insects locked in amber.

Todd Walker’s work

Todd Walker was a self-taught artist/photographer who was a professor emeritus from the University of Arizona. He began early investigations into historical photographic processes during his early career as a commercial photographer. Frustrated by the way his images were altered by the press, he searched out historical processes for other ways of working with images. He taught himself collotype in the early 1960’s and began self-publishing artist books and portfolios before he acquired a press. Years later (1981) after his early explorations in digital imaging when printing options were few, he returned to the collotype process to print out some of his analog and digital imagery. All of his images began as black and white analog negatives.