Artist's Statement: Danielle Picard-Sheehan
In 2019, I took a week-long course on Encaustic Photography at Anderson Ranch in Colorado. I have always wanted to experiment with encaustics because the wax-based process can give an ethereal sheen and nostalgic quality to photographs. I also felt the need to provide my Digital Imaging students with more hands-on techniques. Mastering this workshop gave me the ability to pass this little-known process on to my students.
I have experimented with three bodies of work using encaustics. In one series, I use images made while I traveled in Cuba on three occasions spread over three years. The second body of work is a landscape series I produced while in Colorado. These images show landscapes altered by human activity and by avalanche. Finally, the third series is a collection of images I recently made at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. I photographed the sky-lit prison cells, each with its own character, as well as a variety of monochromatic spaces that remind me of the souls who spent countless hours and days—prisoners and guards alike—within the walls of a place that in many ways speaks to the passage of time, whether time spent, a time long past, or the ravages of time.
My decision to exhibit this work in such a didactic way shows my desire to reveal to my students and the viewer the possibilities encaustic techniques can bring to imagine-making across different styles of photography.