“Image – Identity” at Ironworks Gallery

The Manual Project Salt Prints
The Manual Project Salt Prints

The Manual Project is on exhibit at The Ironworks Gallery 406 Tompkins Street, Orange, NJ in The Valley Arts District from December 16th 2011 through January 21 2012. Also showing two series of sculptures by Larry Dell: “ghost” and “(My) Lost Identity: A Reflection on Dishonesty, Secrecy, Politics and Love” exploring themes such as family, deception and identity.

There will be an opening reception and book signing on Friday December 16th from 6 to 9 pm and a closing reception January 21 2012 from 6 to 9 pm. The gallery is open by appointment – contact 973-674-0183

The exhibition “Image/Identity: Looking For Who We Are” poses questions about the idea of the self and how experience forms our individuality.


I will present photographs from the “Manual Project” a collection of portraits of people from diverse backgrounds, occupations, ages, and cultures from around the globe. Each hand portrait is a study of the person’s dominant hand, revealing evidence of how they have lived, who they are, and what they may become.

Using 19th century collodion wet-plate techniques, I photographed each person’s dominant hand then collaborated with my subjects to make a camera-less photogram of the palm print. Both images were then combined with the subject’s handwriting to create one portrait of each person from three perspectives.

Larry Dell will present sculpture from an ongoing project prompted by the discovery of his adoption. Although highly personal the work is meant to pose questions about personality and relationships that are applicable to virtually everyone. The “Ghost” series explores the idea of “phantom” relatives lost through external circumstances, which may never be known. The “Lost Identity” work deals directly with last contact between the artist and his natural mother. “These are subjects that choose and propelled me to explore ideas about dishonesty, love, my relationships to the people most important in my life and my own identity,” said Mr. Dell.

ValleyArts, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is: to grow and maintain a vibrant arts district in the Valley neighborhood of Orange and West Orange and to create cultural and artistic opportunities for local residents of all ages. The IronWorks Gallery is one of ValleyArts’ initiatives to promote local artists and the benefits of art within the local community at large.