deborah bay

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about big bang


Deborah Bay is a Houston-based artist who specializes in macro and constructed photography, creating enigmatic in-camera images as well as digital composites. Her most recent series, ''The Big Bang,'' features ambiguous images that seem to suggest the creation of new universes photographed from deep space. She has exhibited work at the Galveston Arts Center, Dallas Contemporary, Griffin Museum of
Photography, Dishman Art Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock and Houston Center for Photography (HCP), among other venues. In 2012 she was a Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50. Her work is included in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as well as a number of private collections. She has had her work published in The British Journal of Photography, BBC Focus, PDN Photo of the Day, Wired Rawfile and HuffPost Science.


The Big Bang -

Imagine a time of no time and no space, a time before time began.
In that abyss of nothingness the Big Bang occurred, a moment of singularity when the cosmos was born:
the inexplicable expansion of a brilliant, immensely dense, marble-sized ball of light ... and suddenly the
whole of the universe bubbling with potential.

New images from space renew our sense of awe as we push back through billions of years of time,
through the heavenly primordial soup to the earliest stars – their blue light uncolored by cosmic dust.
Inspired by visions of time traveling through space, the images in ''The Big Bang'' hint at these
cosmologic regions and encourage viewers to wander among unknown galaxies, speculating on their

As I began this series, the original intent was to create a set of images that captured explosive motion and
energy in ways that the eye couldn't normally see. I began thinking about the project after seeing a sales
display of bullet-proof plexiglas that had several bullets embedded in it. The transparent plastic captured
the fragmentation of the bullets and provided a dramatic way of seeing ballistic power outside the usual
frame of reference. Metal shards, a spray of shattered plastic and trajectory lines demonstrated the huge
amount of energy released on impact.

As the series developed, I was intrigued further by the psychological tension created between the jewellike
beauty and inherent destructiveness of the fragmented projectiles in the plexiglas. The images
resemble exploding galaxies, and visions of intergalactic bling sublimate the deadly horror of gunshots.
Law enforcement professionals at the Public Safety Institute at Houston Community College fired the
shots into the plexiglas used in this series. The photographic images were made in the studio – well after
the gunshots were fired.