Synthesizing Icons by Larry Blackwood

LARRY BLACKWOOD: SYNTHESIZING ICONS, sponsored by Supporting Local Artists & Musicians (SLAM), is comprised of 19 composite photographs — images created by combining components from a number of different photographs in order to create a new composition. Blackwood believes the inspiration for the work comes from what are known as waking dreams; dreams which occur during periods when one is neither fully awake nor fully asleep. During this time the mind can produce sometimes surprisingly vivid tableaus of rearranged fragments of unrelated memories. It is this sense of altered reality that these composite photographs are meant to express.

While Blackwood has photographed all over the US and around the world, he has lived in Bozeman most of his adult life, centering his artistic focus on southwest Montana and the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Starting with images from Yellowstone and its environs, he incorporates bits and pieces of photographic memories from his experiences elsewhere, recontextualizing them to form surreal combinations. Corvids (the family of birds containing crows, ravens, and magpies) are a recurrent theme in the work as are mandalas. Another theme involves imagining how master painters would react to the Yellowstone environment; creating a sub-collection simply called “The Masters in Yellowstone.”

Larry is a self-taught fine art photographer with over 40 years of experience. Larry exhibits regularly in museums and galleries nationally and internationally. His work has been published in several major fine art photography publications. Awards include prizes in international photography competitions as well as national fine art grants.

Earlier versions of this exhibit were previously exhibited at the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest, CA. and the Waller-Yoblonsky Gallery at Montana State University. Selected images from the collection have also been featured in Distinctly Montana magazine.



June 1 – September 1, 2020: MonDak Heritage Center, Sidney

November 1 – December 15, 2020: Carle Gallery of the Butte-Silver Bow Public Library, Butte

September 20 – November 1, 2021: Holter Museum of Art, Helena

April 1 – June 15, 2022: Hockaday Museum of Art, Kalispell


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