Josie Iselin’s work, The Curious World of Seaweed is now on display at The Image Flow, in an exhibition that extends her published book by the same name into gallery spaces. The exhibit is an in-depth exploration of the fascinating visual universe of seaweeds – something Iselin has explored for well over a decade.
Josie Iselin Interview
After chatting with Iselin about her work and process, she told us that her fascination with seaweed was a bit happenstance. While at Duxbury Reef in a docent class, “I realized I was being taught about all these other creatures, but no one was mentioning the algae, the seaweed, which is most of what I was seeing.” Holding up a piece of it to the sky, she saw a brilliant magenta color and knew she had to bring it back to her studio to experiment.
With her flatbed scanner, Josie dove into capturing these objects from the sea. The scanner is unique in that it captures luminosity and color very precisely. “It strips away all this context and really lets the organism itself speak directly, so I think of them as portraits, portraits of seaweed.”
The exhibition was created in partnership with Exhibit Envoy, which organizes the traveling version of the exhibition to be on view at regional museums up and down the West Coast. “The wonderful thing about working with The Image Flow and Exhibit Envoy was we were able to coordinate their needs as a traveling exhibit with the ability to print on aluminum that The Image Flow was offering me.”
The Image Flow played a big part in the printing and technical aspects of the exhibition. By printing on Chromalux and paper, the body of work is incredibly durable for travel, making the logistics of the moving exhibition incredibly easy compared to traditional shows.Chromalux, which prints directly on sheets of aluminum, is a relatively new technique and has become much more archival in its evolution. It’s incredibly light, durable, and ready to hang, making it a wonderful material for large prints and in this case, traveling exhibitions. “To have the show return to The Image Flow is exciting because that’s where the work was generated, and it’s been a fun partnership.”
The salon-style layout of the exhibition is a break from The Image Flow’s more traditional gallery layouts, but the investigative nature of the work lends itself well to the format and space. “The way I work – no trim size is necessarily the same, because each scanned object takes on its own size and proportion. The Image Flow did a beautiful job of pulling the images together.”
The Curious World of Seaweed exhibition will be up at The Image Flow through September 30th, with a closing reception Saturday, September 10th from 5:30-7:30pm.