this is [not] a photograph

b. Cologne, Germany

Heike Bartels creates her ethereal images through a form of light drawing. For her Mandala series, the artist shines a beam of light into a concave mirror in a darkened room. As the mirror is rotated, a ghostly reflection on the wall is observed changing in size and shape. The artist studies and selectively exposes the reflections onto gelatin silver paper to capture the fluid and delicate forms. The abstract shapes in these "luminograms" are enigmatic in two ways: they bear little if any resemblance to identifiable objects, and the technique by which they were produced is impossible to discern. Essential to this creative process is the act of focusing on mutating and revolving illuminations, which induces a meditative state.

Bartels received a B.A. in Photography in 1989 from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, where she lived and worked until 1993 as a photographer. She also holds a M.F.A. in Photography and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts, New York.

Artwork from top to bottom:

Untitled (Mandala), 1997
luminogram - gelatin silver print

Untitled (Mandala), 1995
luminogram - gelatin silver print

Untitled (Mandala), 1994
luminogram - gelatin silver print

list of artists/artwork

return to Carleton Collegereturn to Art Gallery