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High Concepts



In art school I was forced to choose a concentration for my art practice. The idea of committing to the historical jargon of a medium was frustrating because I wasn’t interested in satisfying a craft. Images are exciting when they make the viewer question their experience, and force them to consider how seeing affects their being. I chose photography because it seemed more flexible, and still impressionable as a medium for art; I could define its use.


Water Fountains 2008 : Silver gelatin contact print

Charlotte Cotton, LA based curator and critic, categorizes photography as either “too early” or “too late”. One type of photographer makes the photograph impulsively, hurried to catch the moment or feeling; the other is methodical and planned, constructing their own vision. I like to think of my images as reverb of grey area in this dichotomy, jumping somewhere between the moment and the after thought. The decision is not whether to capture or to construct, but rather find the balance.


Moon Mask 2011

23 minute exposure of the moon cropped by template of the artist’s face

I use photographs as a base because I am interested in how they record premeditated and chance information all at once and leave the artist with a document of initial seeing. My photographic images act as documents of a moment of being, but they are also objects, taking up space, ready to be manipulated. Like a memory, the photos are finished as I make additional objects and edits in the studio to define their meaning.


Durham, NC 2011, 23 minute exposure of the full moon

Inkjet print with poked holes and sewing

Most recently I have been working in reverse from my usual process, making objects first that can be photographed to frame potential experience. I find that once I make an object, whether it is a photograph, drawing or, sculpture; it presents itself as potential for a responding object. Although I am making things to be photographed, rather than photographing then making things, the resulting objects reference past studio revelation.


Dodecagon, 2013

Double exposed large format photograph, constructed shape: wood and paint

Humans, as early as the first Neolithic beings of the French Dordogne region, have depicted simple forms drawn from objects around them and repeated these forms to create objects for meditation and communication. Humans are generators of symbolic objects that they use to understand themselves and their surroundings. The culmination of my practice makes a record of the phenomenological “seeing” of space and time, and reacts to that object by “reseeing” through symbolic generation.


The World, 2013

Found drawing (top), replica drawing (bottom)

Occasionally, I am able to uncover objects that are able to express an idea better then a photograph, and touch on a shared vision of how we understand ourselves in space and time.

Liz McCarthy



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This is the HCL blog.

This blog is a source for our associated artists and audiences to share the experience of the creative process. Here you will find news, pictures, and video's of the new work created at HCL.

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