“Dahlquist takes you to that in-between place in life, the space between sleep and awake on those nice mornings when you awaken without the alarm.” Dreamscapes by Tom Ryan
Since I was eight years old, I have used a camera to quiet a world that contains too much visual stimulation for my racing brain. The lens gives me a distance from my environment, and acts as a filter to slow the intake of information so that I can capture what is before me. Once back in my studio, I am afforded the quiet space to consider the collected images, the silence that allows the dialogue to take shape.
I discovered an affinity for the sensibility and aesthetic of the 19th century photographers through my third grade pinhole camera and science fair experiments. With that continued inspiration I combine the materiality and optical quality of historic photographic process with contemporary materials and technology, creating quiet images of “in-between” spaces. I photograph islands of solitude, places with more memories and daydreams than fireworks, moments where we must be mindful to appreciate the subtle beauty that resides there.
During photography’s progression from the enlarger to the computer, I recognized the importance of my tactile connection to the images, the meditation of working physically in concert with the materials. It is in this process that I transform from observer to participant, showing the work of my hand to insert myself into the scene. Drawing inspiration from those earliest photographer/scientists, I created modern ways to explore the photograph as object, combining old and new to make works that have the artifacts found in the historic processes. Anachronistically, each piece that I create is singular; the material, handwork, and image combine to form an original object, one that lives outside the world of reproduction.
Chris Dahlquist learned to use a camera and darkroom as she was learning to ride a bicycle and write in cursive. Originally from Fort Worth, she wrote her first artist statement on a Big Chief Tablet in phonetic Texan, claiming for herself a life of travel and “tacking pitchers”. She has held a camera in her hands ever since.
After spending the early part of her career in commercial photography and film, Dahlquist returned to her childhood proclamation and since 1998 has exhibited extensively throughout the United States. Dahlquist’s photography is in hundreds of private, corporate, and municipal collections, and has won more than 40 awards at nationally juried art fairs, including the Houston Museum of Fine Art Curatorial Award. In addition to those awards, she has been awarded an Inspiration Grant from the Metropolitan Kansas City Arts Council and a Development Grant from the Mid-America Art Alliance. Dahlquist also serves as an Artist Peer Facilitator in Artist Inc., a professional development program that helps artists across all disciplines build sustainable careers.