FIRST PLACE: Parks Sadler 'Cities & Memories-3'
N.Y. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards- 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' FIRST PLACE: Parks Sadler 'Cities & Memories-3' (Click on image for larger view)
CITIES & MEMORIES-3 by Parks Sadler
(Click on image for larger view)

Review by curator Diana H. Bloomfield:
The combination of photography, print-making, and painting is, in part, what makes the 19th century gum bichromate process so appealing.  

I was particularly intrigued with Sadler’s approach which so successfully exploits the print-making and painting possibilities inherent in the gum process. That includes the graphics he used in the triptych separation. I felt that the smaller images within that triptych— like narrow windows into and as part of the larger view— were individually strong enough, compositionally and otherwise, as stand-alone pieces.  

I love the mystery and timelessness of this image, which were so compelling. No one’s face is distinct; no time frame can be given. This is simply the essence of a particular time and place, experienced if only briefly. The deliberate choice of pastels also suggests a lovely and fading visual memory, plucked from the mind’s eye and carefully put to paper.  So many choices Sadler could make with this process and with this ‘figure in the landscape’ image, and each one here was smart, thoughtful, and beautifully realized."

Diana H. Bloomfield asks:
"Gum bichromate printing is appealing in the way it combines aspects of print-making, painting, and photography.  I love the image itself, and am intrigued by the way you chose to print it, which seems to really exploit the print-making and painting possibilities inherent in the gum process.  Why did you choose to print this in a historic process, like gum, as opposed to some other process, including digital printing?"

Parks Sadler says, "Gum printing has certain visceral nostalgic qualities to the process whenever the print is done and in my case I always use gum in a quite poetic and gentle way. The nostalgic qualities gum offers to a print is essentially why I chose it. I think it is not only fitting to the imagery, but also fitting to the concept of memory abstracting time and place. 

Bloomfield says, " I love the way you split the image here, with each one of those pieces making an intriguing scene all by itself.  In relation to that, both the image and print seem reminiscent in some ways to mid-century modern art to me, both in your choice of pastels and the triptych graphics.  What was your thought process in making those choices?"

Parks Sadler says, "Beyond the initial aesthetics I made these decisions because I wanted the viewer to question the time the images were created in or referencing.  There are moments when the viewer can almost be certain of the time and other moments when the time becomes more illusive. Also, a more straight forward reason is that I saw the shapes the images are cropped into as port windows on a boat looking onto these memories.  The viewer can use their imagination on the kind of window they are looking out of with the image shown in a more traditional rectangle crop."

Bloomfield says, "I also appreciate the fact that what the viewer sees here is less a reality than it is a remembrance, a feeling, or the essence of a summer boat trip,  experienced somewhere, anywhere, at any time.  Even the boaters’ faces are totally indistinct.  In that way, too, the image seems timeless.  So many choices you could have made in the taking and processing of this image, so I would like to know the reasons behind your final choices that made for such a strong compelling scene."

Sadler says, "As I mentioned before I saw the shapes as port windows on a boat and the viewer is looking onto these memories. Memory is a fickle thing it is always changing and undulating like you are on a summer boat trip.  The goal of the works were to visually mimic the intangible act of remembering. This is why there are pieces of the imagery that are distinct and pieces that are frustratingly forgotten."

Parks Sadler says of his work, 'Cities & Memories', "This body of work permits you to ask questions about the conceptual measurement of place and the events that have occupied said place. Magnifying the abstract and cyclical disposition of time causing the viewer to never pin point a time period the images were created in. The nostalgia is overwhelming allowing the memories of the place to exist in the past, the images as a vehicle living in the present and extending into the future. Moments of abstraction and the flashes of clarity allow the audience to make sense of the complex works and this experience is similar to the act of remembering. The goal is to allow the viewer to project their own memories onto the works, reforming and changing their thoughts on the images and their memories making them question the actuality of the events."

Parks Sadler is a commercial and fine art photographer who is finishing up his degree in Graphic Design and Photography at UNC Charlotte. He recently moved back to Charlotte, North Carolina after living in their sister city Wroclaw, Poland. His work often explores themes of narratives, memories, and personal connections associated with place and location. Traditionally trained in
darkroom analog processes. Sadler
specifically enjoys 19th century alternative photographic printing including gum arabic printing, and platinum palladium. Sadler is currently working for an interior design company staging and photographing high end homes. He also works as a research assistant to an art historian. Currently he is working on a thesis project exploring language diversity and language barriers.
instagram: @gparkssadler