Much of my current photographic work involves transforming my own photographs into abstract geometrical designs, bright colors, and textures, sometimes rendering the originals unrecognizable. The finished work often looks more like painting than photography, but with uniquely digital layering and texturing. Frequently I shoot with future transformations in mind, although I often simply experiment. I hope to engage the viewer with something satisfying while provoking questions related to what exactly something was and how it might have become what it is.
The work shown here and on the show’s website is based on architectural elements. “Turquoise Window” and “Horizontal Windows” each started as simple, unadorned windows on a stucco building in Argentina. “Structure” began as an abandoned cinderblock fish plant in Newfoundland. Each of these three images emerged from a single photograph.
Estelle Disch turns her own photographs into often-mysterious variations on reality. Her images frequently emerge looking more like paintings than photographs, but a close look reveals unique digitally-enabled texturing and depth.
Since receiving her first camera in grade school, Disch has loved photography. She enjoyed workshops with Ansel Adams and other photographers in the 1970’s and yearned to do photography full-time. A brief foray into portraits and weddings convinced her to stay with her academic career and keep photography as a part-time passion. She happily taught sociology for 40 years, the last 30 of them at UMass Boston. Now in retirement, she is pursuing her dream of making and transforming photographs whenever she pleases.
In the midst of numbing grief following the death of her life partner Rita in 2009, she found joy, respite, and hope in bright colors and abstract forms. She happily now has the time and energy to seriously explore where she can take photography, and where it can take her.
Disch’s photo transformations, along with occasional unadorned images, have been exhibited in three solo shows, one two-person show, 13 juried shows, and three art-loan programs. Her images have also appeared on four book covers. She serves as a teaching assistant in Photoshop workshops at New England School of Photography.
Contact Estelle Disch