This week I’m featuring an amazing photographer, Sally Bozzuto. Sally and I met through Silver Eye Center for Photography – she taught me the ins and outs of installation. Sally has shown at Wood Street, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the Arlington Arts Center (at the Art Scouts show with me!), Luke & Eloy gallery, and many more spaces. She is a founding member of Ag Works, a Pittsburgh arts collective. She starts graduate studies at the School of Visual Arts this fall.
Dustograph, Sally Bozzuto
1. Where do you live/work? Where are you from?
I am currently living and working in Pittsburgh but moving to NYC at the end of July where I will be attending the School of Visual Arts for my master’s degree in photography, video and related media. I am originally from Connecticut. Been in Pittsburgh for 13 years (!) and will (hopefully) graduate in 2013 so 13 is my new lucky number!
2. How did you start in on this particular project/field of work?
The idea for this work started as a joke! Since photographers are always struggling to get dust OFF their negatives I jokingly suggested that one day I would make a whole series of work which was all about dust! But then the more I thought about this idea the more intrigued I became. So I ended up experimenting with dust and the enlarger. The dust-o-graph images were created by placing a surprisingly small amount of dust between two pieces of glass and then putting the glass into the enlarger where negatives typically go. I then focused the dust projections with the lens and exposed them to photographic paper and the dust-o-graphs were the end result! I was really interested in how many different permutations I could get with just a single clump of dust. At first I experimented with dust and dirt I got out of the bottom of a vacuum cleaner. Next I started collecting dust samples from around my house – picking up these “dust bunnies” and recoding the place and time of their collection. It was also interesting to see the differences in the dust from one area of the house to another. More fuzzballs gathered in the bedroom while more hair accumulated in dust from behind my bathroom door. I was instantly mesmerized by the resulting images’ resemblance to the universe. I really like the idea that within these tiny microcosmos of the world of dust you can see something that looks like the macrosom of space. And what is the universe anyway if not a bunch of large balls of dust floating around in space? To quote Joni Mitchell: “We are stardust, billion year old carbon”After I made the darkroom work I started photographing the dust in its environment. I became interested in how interconnected we are with it and its creation. While embracing the beautiful chaos of the naturally and regularly shifting patterns created in the dust I also wanted to show it in such a way that made it feel vast or larger than life. The title of this set “dustscapes” refers to the feeling of the space I was trying to show in the images.
3. Who/what are your influences?
Hiroshi Sugimoto is probably one of my favorite photographers of all time. Man Ray’s “Dust Breeding” was certainly on my mind while I was working on the dust photos as was Duchamp. Other influences include Kandinsky, Julie Taymor, Bjork and John Adams.
4. What are you working on now?
Moving to NYC.
5. Any new projects on the horizon?
You can see more of Sally’s work on her website: www.sallybozzuto.com