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King, Leslie POSTCARDS FROM THE PANDEMIC: A PULASKI MEMOIR. 2021. Radford University, Thesis. Radford University Scholars' Repository.

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Postcards from the Pandemic: A Pulaski Memoir is a photographic and written narrative depicting the COVID-19 pandemic from the viewpoint of an anonymous person residing in the southwest Virginia region of Appalachia. The images are intimate, and the words are personal, inviting the viewer to become an active participant in the story. This series traces its creative inspiration and influences to several origins. King examines the artistic philosophies of Nick Bantock, author and artist of the book trilogy, Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence. Through postcard or letter-sized illustrations and correspondence text between two fictious artists, he tells a love story. Although King’s work involves photography-based postcards and one-sided communiques, Bantock’s storytelling solution inspired the idea of mail as storytelling method in Postcards from the Pandemic. For a historical perspective, King looked at work created by three photographers during the 1918 Pandemic—Edward Steichen, Lewis Hine, and Alfred Stieglitz. King chose these imagemakers for their involvement in the Pictorialism movement, which is a paramount influence in King’s photography. Discovering they all used the 1918 Pandemic to pursue their passions in ways that veered from Pictorialism, King looks back at the movement and its essence. She explores the artistic sensibilities of Pictorialism, wherein early photographers manipulated images during the developing phase to heighten a quality of atmosphere and emotion. They did this through increasing shadows and light, exposure time, and affecting selective focus. Although this may have abstracted the actual subject, they believed it provided more insight into the moods surrounding time and place. This idea still resonated with King, and she decided to pursue this style in her work. But process is also a dominant force in King’s physical output and is as much an inspiration as are other artists. Once she had decided to create a postcard narrative, she researched postcards from the 1918 Pandemic. Photography-based cards were created using photo-mechanical processes, akin to the photogravure process favored by Pictorialists. With her usage of text in the form of a postcard correspondence, King added another layer to her series, the Stamp Project. She invited other artists to participate by creating stamp artwork to help tell the story of the pandemic through their mini-creations. In the second chapter, King describes her rationale for the series and the process choices she made when choosing mediums. She also discusses her method of using social content curation, a survey-based procedure, to help select the 24 black and white photopolymer gravures included in the series. And she defines the parameters she used for the Stamp Project. Chapter three describes King’s process for the four elements involved in Postcards from the Pandemic. She describes starting with digital photography and goes into further detail about photopolymer gravures. She follows this with how she created the postcard-like text panels that accompany each image and how she miniaturized art into stamps and adhered them to the text panels. King concludes her thesis with an assessment of goals achieved and challenges. Both her artist’s statement and series follow in the Appendix.

Item Type: Thesis
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Divisions: Radford University > College of Visual and Performing Arts > Department of Art
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 01:27
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 18:15

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