Lorie Novak

Lorie Novak is an artist and a professor. Her work is very interesting and she uses many different technologies in the creation of her work. Much of her photographic work follows the themes of memory and transmission, identity and loss, presence and absence, shifting cultural meanings of photographs, and the relationship between the intimate and the public. On top of her own work, she also launched a website called collectedvisions.net in which members of the public can interact in storytelling which explores how family photographs shape our memory. This project began in 1996.

Much of Novak’s work, even from different series quite often involves different layers at lowered opacities. This is effective in the portrayal of her theme or memories in the way that opacities are often seen as being a way to represent memories in the way that they are faded yet you can still remember them. What I find interesting about her work is that within many photographs she incorporates her gaze as a part of the images. This is to try and mimic the way that we see our own reflection on the screen while looking at photographs. And says she does this to ‘insert myself as both an image-maker and consumer.’

I enjoy a lot of Novak’s work. But in particular, I like the ‘Photographic Interference’ series, seen below. The reason being is that I like the use of the newspaper as a part of the image. I especially like how the peach coloured newspaper has been positioned to make the shape of the face, so that as a viewer, you can’t actually figure out if it is her skin or the newspaper itself. This incorporating of objects and imagery was what drew me towards Novak’s work. This also fits very well within the theme in university this week entitled ‘Something Borrowed, Something New.’ As I was drawn to this style of work after seeing the work of Roman Pyatkovka and he used opacities to create a meaning. I think that when using opacities it can very effectively tell a story (or multiple stories) within one frame, which is  useful tool within storytelling in imagery.

Lorie Novak’s website: www.lorienovak.com   © Kirstie Wilkinson

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