Jeff Nilan

November 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Jeff Nilan, a 1999 MFA grad from IU and Asst. Professor of Photography @ Ohio Wesleyan University has been working on books, photographs, and large scale alternative process pieces based around midwestern mythologies.  All of this work originates from his family’s farm in Cass County, Iowa.  His work began as purely photographic. Jeff would, wielding a pair of Leica M’s, spend much of his summers and other available time wandering around the area.  As his work progressed Jeff began a new aspect of the project, this is the one that strikes rrtwo’s interest most.  Using black litho-crayons, Jeff began to create rubbings of various ephemera from the family’s land. Outbuildings, hay-bales, fence posts, etc. all began to steal his attention from the camera.  Through a meticulous process Jeff covers each object with a thin japanese paper, and then works his way across the surface of the objects creating an image that seems as though it was pulled from a life-size woodcut.  The papers are then sorted and then make their way back home. Eventually each sheet of paper is printed, typically using the blueprint process (cyanotype) onto the substrate of His choice. In Union County, 16 hay-bale centers were rubbed and printed onto receipts from a diner near the family farm, at his request the diner had saved every ticket for him for over a year.

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