Featured is a piece called “The Marionette.” The subject, an antique marionette, stands upright and paralleled by his shadow, as if preparing for the performance curtain to lift. Utilized even as early as the 16th century, the crafting and animating of marionettes has served as a reflection of man’s fascination with re-creating himself (1). In modernity, one could argue that this drive finds expression in robotics, but has deep roots in puppetry. While in China this practice was highly ceremonial and performed as an offering, in Europe, marionettes served as entertainment for the different classes. Essentially, the marionette was a tool to share and circulate ideas and stories among the masses. “The Marionette” is an interestingly static piece. The subject and composition do not evoke movement, but appear to exist within a breath of time standing still – almost outside of time, timeless. There is a magic to the art of storytelling that endures and traverses artistic disciplines. In a world where contemporary society seems to be obsessed with progress and newness, it’s intriguing to observe the perpetual draw back to the vintage. Truly circular -- in a sense, it is unsurprising that we cannot move forward without an adequate connection to (and understanding of) the past. With my collodion wet-plate photography, I continue the storytelling tradition by honoring classic techniques while operating in the digital age. I am motivated by the extraordinary elements of both. Follow me on Instagram (@collodion101) and check out thomasallcroftgibson.com for more. Enjoy!
1. MARIONETTE: FROM TRADITIONAL MANIPULATION TO ROBOTIC MANIPULATION I-Ming Chen Raymond Tay Shusong Xing Song Huat Yeo School of Mechanical and Production Engineering Nanyang Technological University