StarFish_OrangeSeaStarH_CMCaldwell by Christine Caldwell

Christine Caldwell

South Pasadena, CA - United States


Christine M. Caldwell was born and raised in St. Louis Missouri. She relocated to California to attend Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Since graduating in 1995 with a BFA in Photography, she has worked continuously as a darkroom technician mastering the intricacies of both Color and B/W darkroom printing.

Artist statement

My work illuminates the natural world and enables the viewer to become a tourist in a surreal display of natural specimens collected from throughout the Los Angeles area. By affording the viewer an opportunity to experience a symbiotic connection to nature's smaller creations, I am hoping a greater appreciation for their intricate beauty is attained. My lifelong passion for photography and nature, as well as my darkroom expertise, have merged together to create this body of work called Illuminated Negatives which are color photograms created without the use of film, camera, or computer. Original Illuminated Negatives are limited edition prints consisting of leaves, flowers, insects or oceanic specimens. The resulting large scale prints created by my photogram process allows the viewer to experience heretofore unseen hidden wonders of the specimens. Color photograms are unique ‘X-ray type’ and shadow-like photographs created in the darkroom by placing objects between light-sensitive color paper and a light source.

Cyanotypes are the newest series of Illuminated Negatives. This nearly two centuries old photographic process was introduced to the world of photography by Anna Atkins, who many consider the first Female Photographer. As a long time admirer of Anna’s work I was inspired to pursue creating cyanotypes. This handmade and labor intensive printing process, which relies on the UV light of the Sun, renders a deep blue/cyan image onto water colored paper. After a successful collaboration with Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, I have teamed up with my hometown Cabrillo Marine Aquarium to expand the ocean series. Using these new and existing oceanic photograms, I have created cyanotypes whose vibrant colors are reminiscent of the hues of the ocean.

Local shows

The G2 Gallery - Venice, CA
Art Project Paia - Maui, HI
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