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About the Photographer
American, b. 1953
For more than thirty years, Alison Rossiter has been making work that focuses on the materials and processes of analog photography. Considering the inherent characteristics of the medium and experimenting with a variety of techniques, she has made photograms and light drawings in the darkroom and engaged with the way photographs make use of light by photographing solar eclipses, as in the two works from 1994 in MoCP's collection. More recently she has collected expired photographic papers from the last six decades and printed them to reveal latent forms caused by gradual exposure to elements like moisture and humidity.
For "Kodak Azo F4, expired in February 1922, processed in 2011 (#1 Mold)," her process is intentionally simple: in the darkroom she dips the small sheets of paper from 1922 in developer, submerging it partway. The result resembles an ominous landscapes. The apparent smoke, or clouds, on the horizon are latent in the old paper itself, produced by mold that found its way into the box of materials. The invasive residues of the outside world are what give Rossiter’s prints their atmospheric qualities, while giving shape to moody environments that never really existed.
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Rossiter studied photography at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York and Banff Centre School of Fine Art in Banff, Alberta. She has taught at Drexel University in Philadelphia, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, and the University of Ottawa in Ontario. In addition to her activities as a photographer, Rossiter has been involved in the field of photographic conservation and preservation.