Photographer: Chrystal Nause's Series Chiaroscuro

Chiesa Santa Maria della Domenicane. Gravina in Puglia, Italia. | St. Mary’s Church of the Dominicans. Gravina in Puglia, Italy.

Chrystal Lea Nause grew up in a rural northern Illinois farming community. Her father instilled in her an adventurous spirit and a love for travel. In 1997, she began to make photographs and develop her wanderlust as a foreign exchange student in Tasmania, Australia. This is where she was first introduced to the darkroom. In 2005, she received her Bachelor of Arts degrees (Photography, Administration of Justice) at Southern Illinois University (SIU). She earned a Master of Arts (Anthropology) from SIU in 2010. Chrystal specializes in landscape (both rural and urban), narrative tableau, and portraiture. She strives to emphasize the beauty found in isolation and anonymity. She will always prefer traditional processes that incorporate light-sensitive materials and chemistry. Chrystal has been fortunate enough to have traveled throughout North America and has explored Australia, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe. In 2012, she adventured from Boulder to San Francisco and back, photographing with her large format Crown Graflex the entire way.

"The pieces shared here are a selection from Chiaroscuro, which was created in Italy during the summers of 2007 and 2008 and the fall of 2011. For this project, elements of found light and shadow were utilized to create mood while focus (or lack thereof) guides the viewer through each image. The Italian Renaissance term chiaroscuro (light-dark) is used to describe an artistic technique, which incorporates the contrast between light and shadow to define depth.

Interestingly, the initial images created in 2007 were simply mementos for myself. I was an archaeology student working in the southern Italian town of Gravina in Puglia. Without any income to speak of, I spent my nights and weekends traveling alone, photographing what I observed along the way. It was a very quiet and self-reflective time.

As the project developed over the following years, it became apparent that the resulting images were a deeper exploration of the shadows within the human mind. The work became an exploration landscape, both rural and urban, in an attempt to reflect emotional “places” within one’s own self. Chiaroscuro represents psychological places explored, which may (or may not) be related to the physical spaces depicted in the photographs."

Connect with Chrystal on her website!

Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth of confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.
— Edward Steichen, Time magazine (1961)

Vieolo di Castello, Volterra, Italia. | Vieolo of the Castle. Volterra, Italy.

Por Gio. Isola di San Michele, Venezia, Italia. | For Gio. Saint Michael's Island, Venice, Italy.

Vecchia Stazione Ferroviaria. Manfredonia, Italia. | Old Train Station. Manfredonia, Italy.

il Trullo. Alberobello, Italia. | the Trullo. Alberobello, Italy.

la Gravina. Gravina in Puglia, Italia. | the Ravine. Gravina in Puglia, Italy.

Colosseo di Roma. Roma, Italia. | Roman Coliseum. Rome, Italy. (interior)

Prato della Valle (il Prato). Padova, Italia. | Prato della Valle. Padua, Italy.

Basilica di San Nicola. Bari, Italia. | Saint Nicholas Basilica. Bari, Italy.

Passeggiare sulla Via Coronato. Gravina in Puglia, Italia. | Stroll along Coronato Road. Gravina in Puglia, Italy.