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In the Country (Positive)

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Image of In the Country (Positive)

Pinky/MM Bass (aka Marion M. Bass)
American, born 1936

In the Country (Positive)


Object Type: Photograph
Creation Place: North America, American, Alabama
30 1/2 in. x 40 in. (77.47 cm x 101.6 cm)
Medium and Support: Pinhole gelatin silver print on paper
Accession Number: 2007.0006.0002

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase
Copyright: © Pinky/MM Bass

Throughout her creative career, Alabama artist Pinky Bass has pursued unconventional paths to success. Long interested in pinhole photography, in 1989 she obtained funding through a RAP grant to renovate a pop-up camper trailer into a portable pinhole camera and darkroom in which she exposed and printed photographs as large as three by five feet. "In the Country "(Negative) and "In the Country" (Positive) were part of Pinky’s Portable Pop-Up Pinhole Camera and Darkroom project around 1990.

The composition was made during a residency at the Appalachian Environmental Center in Highlands, North Carolina. Kitty Couch, an artist friend, was the model for the spectral figure in the foreground, her head and shoulders more easily seen in the positive than the negative image. In both, the floating, shrouded figures in the background are evident, as is the mysterious little building on the edge of the woods. The trees create an interesting background; their shapes abstracted by the strong contrast of light and shade resulting from the slow exposure necessary to fix the image in a pinhole camera. The bold, angular shapes of the picnic table tops in the foreground also serve to animate the scene, one that combines people, places, and things in a manner that prompts a range of responses from different viewers. Certainly the scene is charged with emotion, but it surely impacts viewers differently than it does the artist, who has a personal connection with the familiar landscape and the model.

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