"Cities in the Air"
November 7 - December 2, 2013
Below: Watch a video interview with the artist.
"Abandoned Hydroelectric Plant, Belle Isle," silver gelatin contact print, 4"x5"
"Thus we did not build castles only, but also cities in the air." - William Byrd II, on the founding of Richmond, VA
Photographer Everitt Clark reveals how Richmond’s past and present intertwine. His solo exhibit at The Art League, “Cities in the Air,” features 45, 4” x 5” black-and-white silver gelatin contact prints of Virginia’s capital city.
During a visit to Richmond, Clark stopped by Belle Isle, a small island in the James River not far from the heart of the city. There he found a mishmash of everything done by the inhabitants of Richmond during the last two centuries. The remnants of a civil war P.O.W. camp were a few yards from the remains of a more recent war: a Chrysler factory that once manufactured tank doors. The abandoned hydroelectric plant that once powered greater Richmond stood nearby the smooth rocks that now held sunbathing VCU students. And the trees that provided shade were shadowed by the massive suspension bridge directly overhead. Clark was overwhelmed by a sense of “many-layeredness” that he was determined to capture on film.
Clark found that the “many-layeredness” he perceived at Belle Isle belonged to the city at large. He avoided the picturesque Richmond of the tourists' guides, and instead haunted the urban wilderness of the outskirts. There he found "cities in the air": the ruins of the 19th and 20th centuries jumbled up with the soon-to-be ruins of the 21st. Past and present, civilization and nature were bound together in ways that revealed a deeper unity.
Clark uses a large format camera with black-and-white film that he develops in his darkroom. It's a process that hasn't changed much since the days of Ansel Adams. The 4" x 5" camera and the darkroom allow Clark, above all, to focus. A tripod, a darkcloth, and sheet film absolutely enforce thoughtful composition. It’s only after spending hours finishing a print (a labor-intensive process that involves the application, by hand, of silver-reducing bleach and watercolor) that Clark really knows what it holds.
Exhibit dates: November 7-December 2, 2013
Opening Reception & Meet the Artist: Thursday, November 14, 6:30-8:00 pm
Everitt Clark discusses "Cities in the Air":
Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Open Thursdays until 9:00 pm
Sunday, 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm