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  • Betsy Larkin

Artist Working to Capture Bud-to-bloom Images in Garden

Somerville artist Kerrie Kemperman recently installed a pinhole camera in the Growing Center's weeping crabapple tree in an attempt to capture, in a single photograph, the entire transition from bud to bloom. It's an experimental project that has led her to install these simple tin-can cameras in several local friends' yards this spring.



MID-JUNE UPDATE: Below is the final image from the weeping crabapple tree!


She's also working on a "Somerville Solargraphs" project, which uses pinhole cameras to capture the path of the sun over the landscape over a period of several months.



What follows is a brief Q&A with Kerrie about this fascinating project!



What made you decide to take on this particular project?


KK: ""Spring always sneaks up on me and often ends before I've really been able to take note of the changes in all the different flowering plants. I thought it might be interesting to apply the same concepts from my solargraphs to flowering trees and to try to capture all the changes in a single photograph."


Why at the Growing Center?


KK: "My art projects often have environmental and community elements to them, which is why this connection to the Growing Center is important to me. As a Somerville renter, I don't have access to much private green space, which is why I reached out to friends and acquaintances across town and put cameras in their yards. I'm grateful to Jennifer Clifford for reminding me of the Growing Center and putting me in touch with Paula Jordan to describe my project and request permission to install a camera there."


What do you hope to get out of this project, and others like it?


KK: "Well, I will be really happy if I get a good photograph, but often the most important part of an experimental project is what I learn from it. That's what I love about pinhole photography: the challenge, the feeling of serendipity when I get an interesting image. Everything about my practice is experimental: I make my cameras out of tin cans (usually tea tins and coffee cans), use photographic paper to capture the image, and leave them outside in the elements for weeks or months (or years!) at a time. So many things can go wrong, but when it goes right it's amazing. I am in awe of the natural world, and enjoy finding interesting ways to document it, to look at it anew, and to affect how others see it too."


Kerrie has a studio just a few blocks away, at Washington Street Art Center, and is participating in Somerville Open Studios May 6-7. https://www.kerriekemperman.com/

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