Recent Mary Kocol Press

We are thrilled to announce three wonderful write-ups on Mary Kocol’s current exhibitions!

The Boston Globe

“Anthotypes and the art of letting go”

Mar 30, 2022 by Cate McQuaid

PROVIDENCE — In the summer of 2019, photographers Jesseca Ferguson and Mary Kocol got together in Ferguson’s Fort Point studio kitchen to blend beets, spinach, and boiled red cabbage. They weren’t making a hearty borscht. They were preparing emulsions for anthotypes — photographs made with photosensitive plant matte

Ferguson painted the emulsion on watercolor paper and set a positive transparency atop the treated paper and exposed it to the sun. Over days or weeks, an image would appear.

The environmentally sustainable anthotype method, originally developed in the 19th century, is having a renaissance. Kocol and Ferguson have organized “Making Pictures from Plants: Contemporary Anthotypes” at the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts.

Read the full article here.

What Will You Remember

“Making Pictures From Plants”

Mar 29, 2022 by Elin Spring

Is everything old new again? The prevailing trend to digital imagery has been met with a small but strenuous movement in a different direction: renewed curiosity about alternative processes, some dating back to the origins of image-making. A host of contemporary photographic passions find their philosophical home in the union of archaic methodologies and modern environmental stewardship. Colorful and sustainable, Anthotypes are photographic images made using light sensitive juices extracted from crushed flower petals, berries and leaves.  An early attempt at color photography, the method proved unpredictable and unstable. That is, Anthotypes fade over time. Fast forward two hundred years and artists are discovering a diversity of reasons to embrace the fragile, poignant impermanence of their images. Visual metaphors regarding memory, ephemerality and loss seem particularly timely in the face of menacing pandemic, war and climate change. “Making Pictures from Plants: Contemporary Anthotypes,” an exhibition curated by Jesseca Ferguson and Mary Kocol, gathers sixteen international artists devoted to the dreamlike expressions of this technique, on view at the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts (RICPA) in Providence through April 15th, 2022.

Read the full article here.

What Will You Remember

“Five Years of Aspect Initiative”

Apr 6, 2022 by Elin Spring

Some things cannot be Zoomed. Despite fervent and frequent endeavors throughout the pandemic lockdown, our sense of community has taken a serious beating. But recently, a lively and joyous opening reception for “Five Years of Aspect Initiative” at Danforth Art Museum in Framingham, MA has paved the way to restoring that kinship for New England photographers. Left in the event’s wake is an inspiring photographic conversation on the museum walls, co-curated by the online forum’s founder, fine art photographer Steven Duede and Jessica Roscio, Director & Curator of the Danforth Art Museum, and regular contributor to Aspect Initiative. Bringing these images into a shared physical space introduces a dialog that is spurring a new wave of community engagement, on view through June 5th, 2022.

When Steven Duede founded Aspect Initiative in 2016, he kindled a dynamic online forum for New England photographers (along with a few remarkable artists from outside the region). Several times each year, Aspect highlights images by an individual photographer, accompanied by a brief curatorial commentary (a few of which I have written). Over the past five years, Aspect has created a platform for thirty-three image-makers whose diversity of subjects and methods exemplify the vivacity of New England’s photographic community.

This exhibit has precipitated two fresh achievements for Aspect Initiative. First, it brings the work of each artist offline and onto the walls of the Danforth Art Museum, inviting us to physically interact and viscerally respond to the artwork. Yet another casualty of the pandemic, I relish this restored opportunity. Secondly, in many cases, newer work by each photographer is being exhibited, giving viewers an appreciation for the artistic progression from Aspect’s original online feature to their more recent work.

One of my favorite things about the exhibit is the way it has brought thirty-three very different pieces of work into conversation. Visual threads and thematic dialogs are bantering all over the walls, affording a sense of depth and cohesion to the exhibit. The ebullient yellow sunbursts in Tira Khan’s “Indian Spring” are mirrored in Mary Kocol’s “Two Yellow Peonies” and sail across the curved back of Claudia Ruiz-Gustafson’s “1492: La Niña, la Pinta y la Santa María.” Interrelated themes of immigration, colonization and rebirth wind through the grouping.

Read the full article here.