By Rebecca Horne
First, illumination. The flicked match alights spot on the candle wick. Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.
The spark that leaves the hand and arcs through space might be that of inspiration as it burns through the dark, seeking more heat. What looks effortless is the result of 19 separate exposures, one for each position of the match in its tumble.
For garage-inventor-photographer Caleb Charland, problem-solving in real time is significant, the film images are often the result multiple exposures. “I guess you could do it in Photoshop a lot quicker and easier but I enjoy the analog process” says Charland, “there is something to working within limits.”
Charland’s artist statement fittingly begins with a quote from Albert Einstein–a scientist who wrote that his own greatest gift was passionate curiosity: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”
Albert would approve. Charland’s eyes are wide open. Charland: “Given that many measurements are based on the proportions of the human body its clear we measure stuff to find our place amongst it all and to connect with it in some way. For me, wonder is a state of mind somewhere between knowledge and uncertainty.”
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