Events in the Water, 1972
Unbound book of 13 silver prints mounted on folded pages. SIGNED, titled and dated in pencil on the back cover. Edition of 2, 1 bound copy and 1 unbound copy.
9 1/2h x 7 3/4w in / 24.13h x 19.69w cm
Self-published in an edition of 100, The Imaginary Blowtorch is a layered combination of offset lithographs, photographs on Mylar, screen prints and applied color. Published in 1972, it is Nettles' first poetry book and it features self-portraits and images of Bea's family with poetry by Bea's mother, Grace Nettles.
Bea Nettles is an American photographer known for her narrative, often autobiographical approach. Her formal training, in painting and printmaking rather than photography, informs her unconventional, multimedia presentation techniques. In the late 1960s, while still a graduate student, Nettles began to imbue her work with elements associated with women’s work. Drawing from her Grandmother’s quilting techniques, she started to machine stitch directly onto her photographs. Such unconventional, innovative and often then radical approaches to making photographs gained her early recognition. In the early 1970s, Nettles immersed herself in the production of limited edition books. Not only were these books filled with innovative printing techniques, but Nettles often cast images of herself as the main character. It was also in the early 1970s, that Nettles created what is considered to be the first ever photographic tarot deck, Mountain Dream Tarot Deck. Created long before Photoshop, the often complex images are all constructed out of representations of friends, family, and community members.