Winter Artichokes, OSU Farm

Winter Artichokes, OSU Farm
Photograph: Platinum-Palladium Print
Rich Bergeman
Vault, 248 Strand Hall, OSU Corvallis, OR.
5" x 7"
2010 Dean and Director purchase award, College of Agricultural Sciences and Experiment Station, Sonny and Gita Ramaswamy, and the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Artist Statement:

      "A native of Ohio and an Oregonian since 1976, I have been a writer/editor for all of my adult career and a fine art photographer for over 25 years now. I first worked for newspapers in Ohio and New Jersey, then briefly in public relations before landing the best job of my life in 1981, teaching journalism and photography at a community college in Albany, Oregon, a job I retired from in 2007 (although I still work part-time there managing the college’s two art galleries).

      "I took up photography in a serious way in 1985, and ever since I have been pointing my camera backward, looking for inspiration in places that put me in touch with the melancholy of the vanished past. I began with a self-assigned project to explore how light can be captured inside abandoned hotels and other historic buildings that I found in small Oregon downtowns, and in the process I realized I enjoyed finding beauty in the patina acquired by things and places past their prime. So I moved on to photograph older ruins –the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi civilization in the American Southwest, old Roman towns along the Mediterranean’s Adriatic Coast, ancient abbeys in Ireland. One three-year project completed in 1995 retraced the trail taken by frontiersman James Clyman through Western Oregon more than 150 years ago, using descriptions from his journal to photograph the land through his eyes.

      "In recent years my preoccupation has been to chronicle the disappearing traces of Oregon’s bygone days on both sides of the Cascades. This project has taken several tracks and so far resulted in three still growing portfolios – 'Tidewaters: Rivers in the Wake of Man'; 'East of Eden: Settling the High Desert'; and 'Place Names: Vanishing Sites in the Coast Range.' For these projects I use both large-format film cameras and digital cameras and make contact prints exclusively in the traditional platinum process, one of the most permanent and tonally rich media know. I also have fun making pictures with home-made pinhole cameras and, before Polaroid succumbed, with manipulating SX-70 prints."

                        Rich Bergeman, 2003