Chrystal Berche: A Study in Gestures

The pieces of this collection grew out of lesson in lightning that I was working on. I was attempting to catch light and colors in bubbles, using a canon t3i camera and a pair of flashlights. The bubbles were blown onto a dark metal cookie sheet in a darkened room with the flashlights being used as the only lighting. Pictures were taken of the bubbles while they were falling onto the sheet, as well as after they were already on the sheet, with the flashlights in constant motion to try and keep the colors the bubbles were refracting every changing. Layers of the bubbles were taken and they were superimposed on top of layer of photographs of incense smoke. The incense smoke was captured using a black velvet background, a darkened room, and candlelight to highlight the path of the smoke. Photoshop was used to give color to the smoke once it was layered with the bubbles.

A third layer was added to the bubbles and the incense smoke, this was a layer containing the scanned image of a pencil drawing gesture study. The image was inverted, and made somewhat transparent, so that some of the bubbles and smoke could be seen swirling through each of the gestures.  I wanted each one to capture not only a mood, but a sense of light and movement, and a cohesiveness that told a small snippet of a greater story. Each dancer can be looked at individually, as well as collectively, as if they were following one another across the stage. I was inspired to create these after reading about how colored water in glass with light shining through it would be used in the theater to change the lighting that was cast on the stage. In a way, I’m guessing these were really the first versions of filters created and I wanted to see if I could create something that was both modern and reminiscent of those stage scenes. 


Chrystal Berche dabbles, lots, and somewhere in those dabbles blossoms ideas that take shape into images. Many of her current pieces of artwork start out as three minute gesture drawings and eventually get paired with some sort of still life photography and a lot of playing in photoshop. A free spirit, Chrystal digs in dirt, dances in rain and chases storms, all at the whims of her muses.