Congresswoman Debra Haaland, “Crushed Turquoise”, Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico’s 1st District, captured in the historic wet plate collodion process of pure silver on glass. This was one of the most important honors of my photographic journey. She traveled very far to be part of “Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective”. She arrived as a stranger and left as a friend.
This plate will be indefinitely archived at the North Dakota Historical Society here in Bismarck. A second plate will go to New Mexico’s Historical Society as well.
8x10” black glass ambrotype, Carl Zeiss Tessar 300mm lens, f4.5, 9 seconds of exposure, natural light through Norther facing windows and skylight. Thank you Margaret Gonzalez-Yellowbird for being by my side and assisting with this historic series of plates.
A quote by the Congresswoman in the front of the "Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective":
“Shane’s work shines on its artistic merit and for its collaborative
nature. It is genuine and enthusiastic on a human level. For the folks
of many different Indian tribes who sit for his portraits, and who often
become his life-long friends, Shane builds lasting rapport. It is this
rapport, and the importance of honest collaboration between people
of different cultures, that is so vital for our country and is at the heart of
moving forward as a nation. I strive to emulate the rapport that Shane
has achieved in his art in the work I’m doing in Congress. Shane’s
photographs are not only beautiful, they convey the best example
of good people working together to achieve something great.”
March 21st, 2019, Congresswoman Debra A. Haaland
After some reflection, I have determined that this plate, plate #3194 which is plate #319 for my series "Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective" will go to the State Historical Society of North Dakota permanently. It has always been my goal to give my best work to our state archive. I also received confirmation from Congresswoman Deb Haaland that this was also her favorite plate of the day. Cementing for me this important decision.
As I stated in my speech on Sunday: "I can make all the work in the world but without their expertise and commitment to curation, this series would be scattered to the wind by time."
I still have to determine which plate to donate to the Congresswoman's Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections in New Mexico. Providing an original plate to her Historical Society is a promise I made to her months ago.
I will then gift a plate to our lady and will keep one for my wall to share with visitors to my natural light studio. It will be displayed with pride and serve as a reminder of our time together. All four plates will be shared and accounted for.
Thank you Chad Nodland and Chris Hagen (High Plains Reader) for capturing these behind the scene images.
Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio was founded on October 4th, 2012 by Shane Balkowitsch.