F295 Conference in Pittsburgh

June 1st, 2014

I was one of several invited speakers at this years’ f295 Conference in Pittsburgh: “Photography Beyond Technique.” My lecture was called Time and Place and I shared a range of work, including a short reading of EAST from my book Place.


Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography since 1960

April 7th, 2014

Robert Hirsch has finished a fantastic book of interviews with photographic artists who use “transformational” processes in their work. It is a great service and fills in some of the gaps. There has been a lot of work made over the years that needed to be recorded. These are the pages from my interview. Thanks Bob! and Focal Press.
coverpage 1 detail

page 1page 2page 3

Featured speaker at the f295 conference, Pittsburgh

March 27th, 2014

I will be giving one of the featured lectures on Friday May 30 at the 2014 F295 Symposium: Photography Beyond Technique http://www.f295.org/2014/speakers/
Here is the description:

For over forty years, Bea Nettles has used various approaches to photography including mixed media, alternative processes, black and white, dye transfer printing, and artist’s books. Her themes have been consistently autobiographical and narrative.

The focus of this lecture is Nettles’ use of photography’s unique abilities to reveal the passage of time and a sense of place.

She will share Turning 50, featuring combinations of her black and white photographs with text that contrast her body with a familiar landscape, and thoughts about her past, present and future. Next shown will be Seasonal Turns, four booklets that feature photographs laid out in evocative combinations.

Composite images formed the basis of a decade long body of work, Return Trips reflecting on her travels to Italy, Spain, Morocco, and several states including North Carolina, Maine, Illinois and Florida. She combined these images with portraits and glimpses of her daily routine expressing time’s layered and cyclical nature and the sense of place and memory that she has experienced more strongly as the years pass.

Stonecipher: A Book of Seasons and Place are recent poetic works that utilize her cell phone photographs of surnames that are parts of speech found on gravestones throughout the USA. The four seasons are the subject of Stonecipher. Place contains four pieces she has written about American history and regions: the North, South, East and West.

Always inventive and curious, Nettles continues to blend new ways of communicating ideas (digital and digital printing) with one of the oldest, poetry and the spoken word.

National Museum of Women in the Arts: 2 works from 1970

March 12th, 2014

100 lake bottom1970 seeing_all_things
These two works were created in early 1970 and are now part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. Lake Bottom Seeds is a collage of two hand colored photographs that were machine stitched in a mylar pocket that contained white rayon “flock” and radish seeds. This pocket was stitched to a museum board along the top edge in such a way that it could be lifted, shook up, and the contents rearranged…to represent the silt that a swimmer would kick up in a Florida lake. Seeing all these things…she stored them in her medicine cabinet is a mixed media work with a photo-screen printed self portrait on silver spray painted paper, a drawing of a landscape, screen printed palm trees on vinyl, and magazine transfers of coins. Portions of this work were machine stitched over the drawing which was on artist’s paper. These are both important early works of mine that exhibit themes I have continued to return to over the years including self-portraits and the Florida landscape.

Working Class: Card Deck

February 15th, 2014

Working Class
I have just completed another card deck using last names from gravestones. These depict the jobs that people were named for and what the work was, ie: waterman waters, burner burns, singer sang. You can order decks from the store here on my website using Paypal.
Follow this link to see more images:

Remembering Joan Mondale

February 4th, 2014

s05_tomato_fantasywith mondales
lionel-joan mondalebea at mondales
Joan Mondale was an amazing supporter of American artists. During the Mondale’s term, they displayed art in their home that was selected from each region of the country. They also served guests using plates, glasses, and textiles handmade by artists. In 1979, one of my photographs, Tomato Fantasy was chosen by the George Eastman House in Rochester NY to be displayed in the Vice President’s home for a year. My husband and I went to visit twice, the first time for a private viewing. On that day we sat on their front porch and had this group photograph made. VP Mondale had just returned from a fishing trip. Later that year, the fish were served up at a party that honored the artists who’s work was on display. It was a great party, with tents in the yard and music provided by an Army band, but also by a punk-rock band from a nearby art school (probably the Corcoran).Everyone danced with everyone else, including Walter and Joan Mondale.

Hawk/Dove, my latest book.

January 4th, 2014

Recently I have photographed the last names of veterans in national cemeteries. My latest book is a dos-a-dos (a reversible book telling 2 stories) that contains poems about war & peace written with these names. The text mirrors itself in places, including contrasting images of real battles(war)and pillow battles(peace).
Cannon ball tatters meadows, cleaves white oak. Wheat withers.
Savage force pounds warfield, seals Northern borders. Fine ash feathers bridges.
Swift gray rivers flood woods. Young majors march miles,constant fear wells.

Winters snow banks mask January slaughter. Clearwater sours.
Hardy cook sears ham, peppers hash, simmers camp beans.
Downing strong brown brew, forms manly bonds.

Brother fears longmire. Allhands hurdle lower banks. Wary numbers seegraves.
Black rooks poke stone, peck deadman bones. Buzzard paradise!
Thundercloud mounts. Peter’s golden gates rumble.

Stark Sunday. Weary parsons offer scripture. Nurse pillows lame mans head.
Cheeks blanch. Close friend shoulders grief.
Vets harden hearts, button new pea coats. Golden red phoenix burns.

Sowers plant plush green fields. Farmer hoes moreland, bales hay meadows.
Allhands champion charity, justice reason. Towns prosper.
Grass hopper springs.Keen bee burrows clover flowers.

May rains wash center street. Sweet waters cool black berry maze.
Card holder deals diamond deck.Lucky winnings purchase beer, goodwine.
Apple baker, moneymaker waltz.New hires button best coats tight.

French fryer, fruit peeler, love schoolfield. Class forms lively dodge ball game.
Marble champion paradise! Pickle packer, fudge buster share lemon wafer.
Daring cousins wade parks fountain, hunt bright coins.

House guest joy. Fairchild bounds overrocker. Pillow battle going strong.
Little peoples cheeks blush, hearts rush. Summers moon overfield.
Early Sunday dawn. Rose borders redden. High cardinal lovin fine blue day.

There are 2 versions of the book. The limited edition version is cloth bound with the title HAWK on one side, and DOVE (reversed) on the other side. The book is a four fold accordion digitally printed on cotton rag paper and it is housed in a copper paper wrap. 13 copies 5.25 x 9.5″ opening to 5.25 x 38″. The open edition version is the same size bound in grey museum board and contained in a white paper wrap. Email me for price and availability.

Stone Turner: Card Deck

December 17th, 2013

I have just completed a new card deck that consists of 52 playing cards that show a collection of family names that are antonyms that I have photographed from gravestones. These images are paired up on the front and backs of the cards. To see the complete collection go here: http://www.beanettles.com/folio/Artists_Books__2013/Stone_Turner__Card_Deck.html

Introduction: “Since 2010 I have photographed family names in graveyards and been continually fascinated by naming. Among the nearly three thousand names I have recorded, a fair percentage of them are antonyms. If a characteristic was powerful enough to become the basis of a name,often its exact opposite was true. Often these names are passed on with no record of their origins, including my own prickly name nettles.”

Decks can be ordered at the introductory price of $15 each plus shipping from my store:http://www.beanettles.com/store/?page_id=348

20th Century Color Photographs

November 8th, 2013

A new book on the identification and care of color photographs has just come out which is intended to help conservators and curators identify what they are looking at. It includes one of my Kwik Print images. It is the only example of this process in the book. It is an image (Mothers, 1979) that is in the collection of the Center for Creative Photography in Arizona.

University of Washington: Artemis Exhibition 11-2013

November 7th, 2013

I’ve just returned from the University of Washington’s Allen Library in Seattle. They have a fascinating exhibition of artists’ books from their collection there called Under the Wings of Artemis: The Crossroads of Scholarship and Art (October 14, 2013-February 21, 2014)http://classics.washington.edu/news/2013/10/10/very-special-exhibition-under-wings-artemis-crossroads-scholarship-and-art. Two of my books are on view there: Stonecipher: A Book of Seasons, and Persephone’s Descent & Return http://www.beanettles.com/folio/Artists_Books__2010/Persephones_Descent_and_Return.html.

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