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VASA Front Page Project

The VASA Front Page Project
presents the work of a photographer, video and sound artist.

Front Page #41 marks the start of ten years of VASA exhibiting the work of international artist to over 7000 VASA international members.

Andrea Barbier, USA

© Andrea Barbier


Alongside her many photographic pursuits,  Andrea Barbier specializes in the French alternative photographic technique, mordançage. She received her BFA in Photography in 2004 from Savannah College of Art and Design, and finished her MFA in Studio Art from Louisiana State University in 2014. She has worked as a camera educator, art gallery director, adjunct professor, and freelance photographer. She lives in Baton Rouge, LA with her husband, Josh, and their sons, Indie and Jordan. 

About the work:

My work is about what my life is about; femininity, solitude, unfolding, growth, and the complexity and deciphering of human relationships. Some of these images are playful; all are reflective. For me, process and image are inscrutably condensed together to create a whole. They are created from the start with the end result always in mind. While I take great care in the composition of my images, they are made deliberately nebulous and ethereal so the viewer may project their own narrative into mine. The aim is always the inclusion of the viewer, that they may look a bit longer, and perhaps glean something about their own stories in my work. This calculated visual and emotional distortion of my images sharpens the edges of my larger themes through the obscuring of less essential elements.

About the process:

The process of mordançage (French for etching or bleach) was developed in the 1960’s by Jean-Pierre Sudre, a Parisian relocated to the Provincial village of Lacoste, France. Sudre, who originally studied film, was known for his chemical experimentation in photography and later, the workshops he held at his home. During one of Sudre’s workshops, Craig Stevens, an American photographer, learned the process and brought it back to the United States. A faculty member of Savannah College of Art and Design, and of both the Maine and Santa Fe workshops, Stevens has introduced the mordançage technique to students ever since. 

The creation of a mordançage image must begin with a silver gelatin print. The print is submerged into a combination of chemicals that lift the darkest areas of the emulsion, allowing for manipulation of the surface and the redistribution or removal of underlying silver salts. Barbier creates her imagery from digital photographs, and contact prints them in the darkroom using digital negatives. She manipulates the final prints with paintbrush and water to achieve her final one-of-a-kind results.


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