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by Kelsey Karper

Dimensions: 4 x 5
Gift of the artist, 2006

Amaryllis by Kelsey Karper

The Artwork

With Amaryllis, Kelsey Karper used a photographic process that was popular in the United States in the 1850s. This work is an ambrotype, or a photograph that creates a positive image on a sheet of glass using the wet plate collodion photographic process. One side of the glass was coated with a thin layer of collodion then dipped into a solution of silver nitrate. The artist then placed the glass in a 4" x 5" Graflex large format camera that she had modified. Amaryllis was taken indoor under artificial light, which required the glass to be exposed to light for nearly 90 seconds. After the glass plate was developed and fixed, Karper placed a black sheet of glass behind the image, this layer of glass helps add the illusion of dimension to the work while preventing the image from appearing as a negative. A top layer of glass was then applied to protect the image.

The Artist

Kelsey Karper was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma in 1982. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photographic arts from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2004. Her photography is focused on historic and alternative processes. In the summer of 2003, Kelsey interned at the International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum. During her time there, her interest in historic photography developed into a passion. Since then, she has been developing her work though independent study and workshops.