+April 25, 2019
Long Island, NY native Caroline Bert makes truly one of a kind images that explore perspective and experience. She works almost exclusively with alternative process photography. This body of work was created using the chemigram process. The chemigram is a form of camera-less photography. It’s an experimental process where an image is made by painting with chemicals on light-sensitive paper. Caroline enjoys this process of creating images hands on. The ability to add each detail is important to her creative process. Though it is a demanding method of creating images, spending many hours in the darkroom, it is also cathartic for her.
Caroline has been a dancer since childhood. Her love of dance and being able to express herself artistically and emotionally through movement is evident in the images she makes. Her chemigrams explore movement and light. When I first saw her work, I wondered how much of each piece was random and how much was planned. The context of lines, shapes, bubbles, and other forms are for the viewer to decide. Caroline enjoys freedom in the paucity of restriction. The movement in many of her chemigrams does harmonize with the movement of a body, perhaps a dancer. Caroline describes making this work in the darkroom as an escape from reality. She enjoys that with creating this work she is able to both hide and express her true self in an inconspicuous way.
What I find most intriguing about this body of work is that each piece has its own atmosphere. They are each quite different from the next regarding the forms that appear in each image, yet they flow as one. There are some that seem to have faster “movement” than others, yet all feel as if they are moving. I find myself most attracted to the minimalistic prints. The colors from the chemistry are so interesting in the way they have formed these atmospheric like states. There are several that feel like they are expressing rage. Sinister forms appear to be coming off the edge of the print to grab you. I see land and sea from above. In others I see figurative like forms moving and repositioning on, and on. The beauty of this work is that you can see whatever you need to see in it.
Caroline is currently pursuing her MFA at Long Island University Post in New York.