She can’t quite place it. She has been an artist for almost 20 years now but this modality never appeared as an option or desire until 2013. It was Europe and a failed digital camera that made her turn to her old, outdated iPhone4 and think “She’s all I got so I’m going to get all I can get.”
That trip led to her first photographic series, “31 Blocks” — thirty-one images from Europe of angles and the unnoticed transferred from standard copy paper to woodblocks.
Now, Jacqui M. Merhaut has evolved to becoming passionately connected to a Zeiss Ikon from the late 1940’s. It was her Grandfather’s, purchased in Japan when he was stationed there during the war. Today, through her use of his camera, she lives with his spirit. She is drawn to the idea of her vision being created at the hands of her grandfather. She may be the one looking through the viewfinder but her Grandfather is right there holding that camera up along with her.
All photography is shot on black and white film and darkroom developed by Jacqui. There’s a real joy evoked when the lights are out in the dark room, the jazz is on and it’s just her and the film, the process, the lingering wait for the final product. In an age where there is so much instant gratification, this modality takes a step back and makes you wait for it, desire it and truly live it.
The next phases of her work have involved different print modalities such as transferring her photographs to metal and the use of a process from the mid-1800’s called Cyanotype, also known as the blue print process.
Jacqui is a lover of travel, a meditator, a believer that nothing is a mistake.