Exhibit shows off a new way of doing film photography

An exhibit called The Stimulant is showcasing a new and environmentally-friendly form of film photography at the Art Central SEITIES Gallery.

From Friday, Nov. 22 to Saturday, Dec. 21, the exhibit will feature individual work by Bruce Hildesheim, Francis A. Willey, and Sanja Lukac, who come together as “authors and artists” of the Verdant Luminul (VL), otherwise known as ‘The Stimulant.’

“The Verdant Luminul Process is a new approach,” says Lukac, the director of SEITIES and a former student at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD).

“We introduce a dry darkroom procedure, utilizing light safe tubes, along with environmentally responsible, less toxic ingredients.”

Each artist will be showing prints of their own work of unique and complimentary styles of photography that all use the same VL printing process as traditional film photography.

“Our individual photographic styles complement each other,” said Lukac, “but the common thread is creating an environmentally responsible, and less toxic environment for the photographer to create in through the VL process.”

The exhibit is a free event  and open to the public, with opening reception taking place from 4-10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22. The exhibit will be open during regular Art Central hours.

“We are working towards releasing a book in 2014 that provides an in-depth recipe and instruction to using the Verdant Luminul environmental printing process,” says Lukac.

There will also be an opportunity for guests to pre-order The Stimulant book, as well as buy issues of the SEITIES publication & gallery magazine, featuring photography from local and international film photographers.

The Verdant Luminul printing process originates from the work of Willey, an internationally published and exhibited photographer.

It was through exhibiting some of his work at Hildesheim’s recording studio back in 2006 when both Willey and Hildesheim met and found inspiration in each other’s work.

An accomplished musician, composer and sound engineer, as well as a graduate from The Juilliard School, Hildesheim only began to master the art of photography after meeting Willey.

The work of The Stimulant began when the traditional chemistry of the darkroom proved toxic for Hildesheim.

“Many people who have worked in the traditional darkroom have suffered frustrating side effects from the chemistry.” said Lukac.

“Many others go on to learn about the carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) and mutagens (chemical agents that alter the DNA of those exposed to it) used in these traditional developers.”

After extensive research and experimentation, the two came up with a more environmentally and medically safe darkroom process.

Lukac was studying photography at ACAD when she met Hildesheim through Willey.

Lukac also shared the common concerns and passion for traditional photography, and the three became a team in using the process and refining its capabilities.

“Anyone who comes will experience a full analog darkroom print show, rich and romantic subject matter, hand-made fine art photography with a strong focus on environment, health and community,”

For future exhibitions, Lukac said they will be expanding their exhibition spaces and including any future participants who practice the Verdant Luminul process.

Lukac also explained their reasoning behind the label The Stimulant.

Anyone who comes will experience a full analog darkroom print show, rich and romantic subject matter, hand-made fine art photography with a strong focus on environment, health and community. – Sanja Lukac

“The Stimulant is our replacement term and re-definition for traditional darkroom developer. It is the chosen expression to evoke movement, action, and stimulating ideas and progress.”

Along with The Stimulant, the studio is preparing to release its 2012/2013 winter publication and exhibition.

They are accepting artist submissions until Dec. 1 for local, national and international photographers. For details on how to take part, visit the SEITIES website.

About Shealin Boswell 8 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Shealin Boswell worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.