Involved in a never-ending search of gathering treasures and unusual objects to depict a narrative, I continue to explore the mysterious nature of still life through my photographs. I often include elements of the magical and unknown. When I am working on a piece, there is not always a clear intention of what I wish to convey. It is very much a stream of consciousness and an exploration. Often an artifact that I combine within a piece does not reveal itself or the meaning until the piece is finished. The subtlety of the color of the photographic transfers with the addition of wax lifts the subject to another level and allows the assemblage to reveal its own stories.
About the Artist
Anna Tomczak's photographs are created in the studio where she assembles her "scenes." Each image is described in vibrant colors and assembled with found objects such as botanicals, memorabilia, and artifacts, as well as the human figure. In her own words, she explains, "Artifacts depict my personal experience through visual narrative and combine color, light and texture to welcome the interpretation of the viewer. I am interested in the impact of images combined together- textures, feathers, air bubbles, and butterflies, patterns of light and shadow."
Technique is central to her photography. She is one of very few masters of the Polaroid 20 x 24 inch view camera. For both the 20 x 24 and 8 x10, the process is the same, once the "scene" is assembled, she makes the exposure, then separates the image layers while they are still developing and delicately transfers the negative onto watercolor paper. Every print is unique, as each is transferred immediately after being photographed.
Anna Tomczak earned her BA in Theater Arts-Film Studies from Pennsylvania State University and an MFA in Fine Art Photography from the University of Florida. This combination of theater, film and photography provided her the foundation for the development of dramatic imagery realized in her current work. Tomczak's photography has been featured in exhibitions at venues including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Norton Museum of Art, among others. Her images are currently part of a traveling exhibition organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography titled The Polaroid Project, set to travel nationally and internationally through 2019. She has received several awards and grants including the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and Career Enhancement Grant; Polaroid Artist Support Program Grant and Distinguished Visiting Artist at the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts, Florida. Her work has been featured in publications such as Sanctuary (2008) and Picturing Florida (2008) - both by Fresco Fine Art Publications. Her work has also appeared in the Georgia Review, View Camera Magazine, Camera Arts, Studio Photography and Design, and Florida History Magazine. In addition to her career as an artist, Anna teaches workshops in Florida and various university, museum and studio classrooms throughout the US, Italy and Spain. She lives in Lake Helen, Florida, with her husband Mark Shuttleworth, Buckwheat the cat, Buddy the dog and two birds.
- Atlantic Center for the Arts
- Norton Museum of Art
- Artists: Anna Tomczak
- Art Daily
- Wandering Educators: Artist of the Month - Anna Tomczak
- October 1-29th, 2016: EarthTarot: Past, Present, and Future
- October 4 - 25th, 2014: Traveling Light
- March 2 - 30th, 2013: Intertwined
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