Artist's Statement

Andrew Beckham

Piezography Pigment Prints / 24”x36” and 6”x9”

Borrowing from Carl Sagan’s famous observation that “We are starstuff, the ash of stellar alchemy emerged into consciousness,” this project investigates the relationship between the local and the cosmological, in an effort to reconcile the human need for meaning with the ineffable nature of the cosmos.

Part 1 - 24”x36”

Density and Distance is an investigation into the near and the far, exploring scales of time, mass and matter via the photographic image.

In the fall of 2015 I began harvesting tiny Nicotiana seeds from my family’s garden. I then hand-sifted the seeds on museum board to create cosmological analogies: black holes, nebulae, latent energy, encoded life, infinite births awaiting — starstuff as seedstuff. The images were inverted and printed as negative images.

I was immediately attracted to the interaction of color between the objects and their environment. I am fascinated with color’s ability to produce pointed emotional responses in us. We all have a powerful and immediate response to color. Because of this, color can be used to express and project basic human emotions. The color punctuates the emotions I am projecting onto the flora.

By making visual analogies to the cosmos on a scale more easily comprehensible, my hope is that these images might help to reframe our understanding of time and place and materiality, opening a little window into a very big universe.

Part 2 - 6"x9"

We All Reflect All is in response to the catastrophic flooding along the Colorado Front Range foothills in 2013. In subsequent years, I began to find small objects embedded within the canyon walls of post-flood detritus. What these objects have in common is that they are all vessels, of a sort.

Carefully filling them with water, I began a series of photographic experiments to see if I could record the reflection of starlight upon the water’s surface. Perhaps there is a kind of cosmological solidarity to be found in such an exercise, reflecting what is so much greater than us via broken vessels that embody an intrinsic part of who and what we are. To reflect the night sky within these small and ordinary objects is to suggest a larger kind of possibility: that we are all connected, and that we all reflect loss and hope in much the same way.