Cyanotypes || Stocksy United

"Black and Blue"

I recently released a large body of work titled "Black and Blue" to be licensed with Stocksy United.  It can be viewed HERE.  

The series is about finding belonging in motherhood. After the birth of each of my children I struggled with postpartum depression, these images are the means by which I coped with the reality that even after the requisite two years that this type of depression is deemed to last, the postpartum was dropped and the depression was here to stay. Accepting the beauty in the quotidian, embracing the bond between mother and child and between sister and sister. These works embrace the undeniable beauty and depth that can be found in sadness while separately unfolding a joy learned in raising my children.

Below are a few of my favorites.

The images are 8x10 printed on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag.  The negatives are made using encaustic medium.  Toned, printed, and made entirely by hand using traditional darkroom techniques and encaustic photography principles. 

Ali Lanenga
Ari + Jimmy || Baby Bump

Ari and Jimmy are having a baby!  I'm over the moon that I could document them-- We got rained on, we laughed, we danced, we posed in awkward ways and giggled about it, we did the Pinterest things, I freaked out over the solar flares (I know I KNOW I shouldn't, but I just love them so much) a lady bug flew on Ari's bump, Jimmy gave us his best blue steel, and all in all we made some magic.

Ali Lanenga
Self Portraits || Coping With Depression

Self Portraits

Coping With Depression

Recently,  I've been struggling with depression.  I'm trying to cope with my feelings by acknowledging their existence and by trying to turn them into something, anything other than a deep unrelenting sadness.  I've been thinking about how my depression looks and feels and have been trying to come up with creative compositions that embody what I feel internally in an external way.

Depression for me comes in cycles.  It starts out as fragments which agglomerate and rotate like the moon.  Depression also comes like a steady line that turns up and down and breaks off into fragments that I seemingly can't control.  Lastly depression comes in folds, bent and dark, full of gritty texture and opacity.  Using this analysis I began to create.

The framed triptych is printed on Arches paper, due to the size I mixed and painted the chemistry on in broad daylight.  I manipulated the shape and color using vinegar, circular templates, and foliage.   The three cradled wood panels are printed on Kozo paper, enhanced with a dilution of baking soda, and separately washed in a vinegar bath before their final rinse.  Each piece is an archival chemigram finished with encaustic.  

It's such an important exercise for me to take negative and destructive feelings and turn them into something beautiful.  The physical act of creating this artwork has helped me cope with the mental and emotional work I also need to do.

The pieces are available for sale HERE.

Ali Lanenga