Osheen Harruthoonyan’s Nocturna Artificialia pays homage to the creative process. Each atmospheric print was created by spending up to 8 hours with a 4” x 5” exposed negative, treating them with an array of tools including paintbrushes, make-up remover pads, q-tips and dental tools. The intimacy of his fingerprints can be found in the chemical spray and scratched surfaces of the darkly lit images. Harruthoonian describes his work as “science and art” and compares his methods to early artists who used different pigments and emulsion to achieve their colour palette. By painting to the photographic medium, he creates a world of detail and curiosity within every print.
Inspired by Dutch still life paintings, the subjects of the exhibit are flowers and pomegranates distorted by a post-mortem environment. The black and white photography is printed on gelatin silver and creates a canvas of contrasting textures that give Harruthoonyan a scientific playground to work with. Excitedly describing his alchemist bent, he explains the process of toning the prints with sepia, gold and selenium to alter the natural metallic make-up of the gelatin and emphasize each light range.
Harruthoonyan is represented by Lonsdale Gallery and Nocturna Artificialia is showing until May 30th at 918 Bathurst: Culture, Arts, Media & Education Centre.
More about Osheen: http://osheen.ca/