Image @ Aspen Mays. Dodge 8, gelatin silver photogram, 14 x 11in, 2014.

[...] I’ve cultivated a deep curiosity about the role that observational sciences play in culture and how these sciences influence and are influenced by imagery.[...]
— Aspen Mays

During a residency at the Penumbra Foundation, I will continue research and begin working on a new body of work utilizing the archaeological “squeeze” technique, producing paper negatives with the Foundation’s large format cameras and learning how to make salted paper prints.

[...] I first encountered John Beasley Greene’s salted paper prints and waxed paper negatives at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs. In the 1850s, Greene, an Egyptologist, was the first archaeologist to use photography, and in several of his images, he photographed archaeological paper “squeezes” that he made inside temples. This technique was and is used to make impressions of inscriptions in ancient sites by pressing wet paper into carved wall reliefs. It was utilized by Greene to photograph hieroglyphics (among other things), inside spaces that were too dark to make exposures before the invention of artificial lights and flashes; once the paper pulp dried, it was removed and taken outside to photograph in ample light.

In line with my process-driven practice and my long standing interest in the material poetics of photography where human subjectivity and hand techniques intersect scientific inquiry and my interest in exploring both the limitations and potential of darkness, I plan to create and photograph my own paper squeezes. [...]

Aspen Mays was born in 1980 in Asheville, North Carolina and received her MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. She has had solo exhibitions of her work at the Center for Ongoing Projects & Research in Columbus, Ohio and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Her work has also been included in the recent exhibitions, State of the Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Tales from a Dark Room at the New Mexico Museum of Art, and Double Back: Photographic Reflexivity at the University of Maryland.  Mays was a 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar in Santiago, Chile, where she spent time with astrophysicists using the world’s most advanced telescopes to look at the sky. er work has been written about in Art ForumArt Papers, the New Yorker and the New York Times. She is currently Assistant Professor at California College of the Arts. Mays lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.


Image © Noah Doely. Cyanometer, cyanotype on Arches paper, 28 x 38 in, 2017

I’m interested in the precarious nature of subjective experience and the range of interpretations that surround natural
realities. [...]
— Noah Doely

The photographs in my current series are printed as cyanotypes: a photographic process invented in 1842 by the English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel. The images are created through combinations of straightforward photography, physically constructed tableaux, and digital manipulation, which are then contact printed by exposing hand coated paper to light. I am interested in the ways that different forms of photography from different eras mediate and transform the subject matter they depict. [...]

[...] One of my primary interests within this series is the relationship between color and perception. I want to explore how the color blue, as well as the historical connotations of the cyanotype process, play a role in transforming how the images’ content is perceived. I use imagery from an array of time periods, specifically selecting subject matter for which color is pivotal. One example being a recreation of a cyanometer, a device invented in 1789 by Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure used to measure the blueness of the sky.

I would like to use my time at the Penumbra Foundation to build and photograph a series of tableaux using material from the surrounding area and experimenting with a variety of approaches to image construction. [...]                                                                                                  

Noah Doely (b. 1982, Golden Valley, Minnesota) works across various media, primarily in photography, sculpture, and video. He received a BFA from the University of Northern Iowa and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. He has exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such as Steve Turner Contemporary (Los Angeles), The San Diego Museum of Art, Locust Projects (Miami), The Cornell Fine Arts Museum (Winter Park), Viafarini (Milan, Italy), Seattle Center on Contemporary Art, and the Des Moines Art Center. Doely has been awarded fellowships and residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, The MacDowell Colony, The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. His work has appeared in various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Juxtapoz Magazine, and Burnaway Magazine. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Northern Iowa.

The two residents will receive a one-time honorarium and a stipend for food and travel. The artists will have liberal access to the labs, digital tools, alternative processes darkroom, equipment and shooting studios, as well as donated photographic supplies from Fuji Film, special discounts at LTI Professional Lab Services, free admission to public programs and the possibility to be published in a special catalog.

Penumbra Foundation would like to thank all the applicants for their efforts and participation. We received a surprising number of applications from a very diverse and inspiring group of artists. We are delighted to see the interest that this new program has generated among the community across the country.

To learn more about the program please click here.


*  Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa is a photographer, writer, and former editor of the contemporary photography website The Great Leap Sideways (2011—2017). He has contributed essays to catalogues and monographs by Vanessa Winship, George Georgiou, Marton Perlaki and Paul Graham, He has been an artist-in-residence at Light Work, guest edited the Aperture Photobook Review, and written for Aperture, FOAM magazine and The Photographer’s Gallery. He has lectured at Yale, Cornell and The New School, and is a faculty member in the photography department at Purchase College, SUNY.


This program is made possible by the generous support of ROZ LEIBOWITZ