Projects | Gwen Laine

Passing Through:

Passing Through is a photography based installation created by Colorado based artist, Gwen Laine. She received her BFA in photography from the University of Colorado at Denver and has been a part of numerous exhibitions in some of the most sought after galleries in Arizona, Colorado, California, and Nebraska. Passing Through has been on exhbit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (2008) and the van Straaten Gallery in Denver (2009). She had photographed 247 different peoples hands and forearms, Gwen describes the symbol of hands as,

"I chose to photograph the upturned palm as it can signify various and opposing states of being, such as support, resignation, willingness, frustration. The hand is also our 'device of action',the tool through which we control our lives." -Gwen Laine

Passing Through, van Straaten Gallery, Gwen LaineInfinite Editions printed each of these images on clear acetate and because of the nature of the printing material we paused the printer 10 seconds between printing passes to give the ink enough dry time to print properly. She then constructed a balsa wood frame around each image and hung them in vertical columns attached to helium filled Mylar balloons. As time passed the balloons would loose helium and the images began to slowly descend to the floor. People walking through the space would also alter the installation constantly.

Passing Through, van Straaten Gallery, Gwen Laine

"My purpose was to create a dynamic installation over which I had no control after it was installed. I incorporated chance and random occurrences as elements, allowing them to play significant roles in determining what the piece would become over time. I set the initial balance of each column and from that point the piece evolved from moment to moment on its own.

As viewers passed through the space, their movement displaced air and activated the room, causing the images to rotate horizontally and settle into new positions. Occasionally viewers would spin the images. Through their actions, they became active participants in the work's evolution.

Also over time, helium escaped at different rates from each balloon. Depending on the weight of the images and the amount of helium lost, each column lowered, the hands settled down upon one another, and different visual experiences developed throughout the exhibition." -Gwen Laine


Silent Origin III:

"Silent Origin III was created in 2009 is included in the permanent collection of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The installation is comprised of images of the upturned palms and forearms of 118 different people.  Each image is printed on a transparent, polyester-based material and is edged with lightweight balsa wood.  Suspended at varying heights and horizontal positions, the images form a cubic mass of approximately six feet.

The installation speaks to the nature of meaning inherent in the human hand, particularly when coupled with the idea of community.  The hand is at once a device of inclusion and exclusion, resistance and submission, strength and weakness.  It is a tool of action and often the communicator of choices.  The hand is a visually flexible subject in that it resembles both organic and inorganic forms.  It can signify emotional states; it embodies cultural and environmental connotations." - Gwen Laine

Silent Origin III, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Gwen LaineSilent Origin III, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Gwen Laine