© Colton Rothwell

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Colton Rothwell

Missoula, Montana

Artist Statement

My current practice is split between two distinct ways of working, one focusing on narrative and the other on tactility.

My ongoing archive of imagery from my late teens into my young adult life is constantly in flux and being added to, with my series Elegy of Place focusing on selections from the archive to consider my search for belonging in the rural Western United States as a gay man. In this work, I allow negatives to age, be added to, and re-sequenced to create a thoughtful narrative that reflects on the my relationship with the physical and cultural landscape.

In my other ongoing series Becoming, I focus my view on fellow members of Gen Z through portraiture. After shooting the portraits and developing the film, I scan, edit, and enlarge the negatives to be contacted printed onto fabric using cyanotype. I individually print smaller parts of each image, then sew the pieces back together to create a patchwork of each subject. It is through the tactility of my materials and process that I hope to emphasize the ongoing process of creation as it relates to identity.

© Colton Rothwell

Colton Rothwell's Portfolio

© Colton Rothwell

Artist Biography

I am interested in the way images disconnect, shape, and project our identities. As a closeted queer youth growing up in rural Idaho, photographs were my escape and guide to the outside world, creating varied personal perceptions about queerness. I began making my own projections of the world at the age of 14 when I was gifted my first camera. However, as a proud member of Gen Z, image-making has always been a part of my daily life and allowed me to make stories about my surroundings. I attended the University of Montana after high school and graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography with a Minor in Photojournalism.



© Colton Rothwell

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