We’re lucky to have such a beautiful campus here at Naz and I’ve been trying to think of interesting ways to portray this. I decided I wanted to mix the external beauty of the campus with the internal beauty of what I’ve been able to learn here.
In art history, we learned about the legendary French impressionist painter Claude Monet and his fascination with light. He was famous for painting the same object over and over again, simply to represent the way light (and the shadows it creates) changed over time. One great example of this is his Rouen Cathedral series, completed in 1894. I like this one because not only can you see the colors change based on how he saw them at any given time, but you can also see the shadows in the various nooks and crannies of the building move around, based on the time of day he was working.
So what does this have to do with Naz, aside from highlighting our engaging art history program? One of the campus elements that strikes me most often is the wonderful range of architectural styles we have across campus. From the modern Peckham, to the diverse Arts Center, to the ornate Smyth hall and Golisano Academic Center (More commonly known to students simply as GAC), we have a tremendous amount of variety for so small a campus.
I decided I wanted to create a Naz-centric tribute to the Rouen Cathedral series using photographs of GAC, so in breaks between classes one day, I took a series of photographs of the building from roughly the same spot each time. Being an art major, I’m naturally partial to our amazing Arts Center, but I still love GAC. I love the old fashioned look of the building, and many of the core courses are held there, so I have a lot of positive memories from taking diverse classes across all five floors of the building during my early years at Naz. Spending some time outside during this project, simply looking at the ornate façade and planning out my next photograph became a tranquil, meditative experience, and a great way to take a short break from the routine of classwork, projects, and deadlines.
This is obviously a much more condensed form than Monet’s great work: I used photographs instead of paintings, and I only took four across one day, as opposed to the 30-some paintings that Monet created over several years. At some point (perhaps over a break) I’d love to recreate this project over a longer time frame. Regardless, the guiding philosophy of rendering light, color, and shadow is the same.
You can see the individual photographs below. I hope you enjoyed this project! Thanks for following along!
Photo 1: 7:47 AM
Photo 2: 9:36 AM
Photo 3: 10:40 AM
Photo 4: 5:06 PM