Vermont Arts Council

The People’s Choice Award: Andreas John

39: Andreas John

Create a photographic body of the work, “Essence”

Andreas John is a self-taught fine art photographer, filmmaker and artist exploring the creation of conscious media. He is particularly drawn to the intersection of humanity, consciousness, and the natural world. His parents were both black & white photographers and he grew up exploring their garage darkroom with red safe lights, trays of chemicals and string draped with drying prints. His father ran a gallery and frame shop where Andreas worked in his formative years. Recently he’s been returning to these early influences, exploring the world of analog black and white photography with old medium and large format cameras. The intention of Andreas’ work is to offer breath to the ember inside each of us that fuels our deepest excitement and capacity for healing, curiosity, creative expression, connection and love.

Project description

ESSENCE is a photographic body of contemplative portraiture using medium and large format black & white film. For each person that is photographed, the intention is to create an experience that invites the sitter into a deep place of connection with themselves, with myself as artist, and with the camera as witness. The process involves a few minutes of guided contemplation, a period of intimate eye gazing, a series of 2-5 shutter releases, and then completing with a second period of eye gazing.

The intention is to create a collection of 20 large piezography and/or platinum prints from these experiences for gallery exhibit Summer 2024.

My aspirations for this body of work are to inspire meaningful and authentic connection on many levels. An analog experience of creating imagery where every nuanced aspect is influenced by the artist. A truly unique experience beyond time. An experience for photographer, subject, and camera of being seen, not in an analytical way, but rather in an open, receptive, loving and innocently curious way. An invitation for the hidden and not often seen places to come forward and be witnessed in an authentic way. Simply being seen.

What will it be like for the participants in the project to then see a large print of themselves from this moment of connection? What will that bring up? Are they comfortable sharing that with the audience/world and what does that mean? Will that vulnerability create an opening for others to become curious about connecting in this way?

I am excited about the aspect of mystery. That I don’t really know what has been captured until I develop the film. At a very subtle level, photographer and subject may exchange emotion, story, information, vulnerability, essence, yet there is very little that appears externally beyond the eyes.

What is your essence? What is this expression of consciousness that is uniquely you, yet somehow connected to everything?

Media Sample 1

“Essence” – Trailer. “Vimeo Password: Essence. This is a practice/research experience with a volunteer to give a feel for the capture process.”

Media Sample 2

Essence – Alexandra. “Before I had the capacity to work in film I was testing the project with my high resolution digital camera. The print version would be 16×20 or larger.”

Media Sample 3

Essence – Emily. “I don’t yet have a way to scan negatives, but this represents a large format negative that I developed myself from the ‘Essence Trailer’ video.”

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Acadia Klepeis August 22, 2023