Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Why Black and White: Cheryle St. Onge

Nov 07, 2017 - Rachel Jump

Today, we immerse ourselves in the black and white work of Cheryle St. Onge. In her series, Natural Findings, the artist examines the visceral quality of natural entities with an 8×10 view camera.



Cheryle St. Onge grew up in coastal New England, the daughter of a painter and physics professor. Her proximity to the ocean and riding horses as a child shaped her curiosity of nature. She received her M.F.A. from MassArt and has been on the photography faculty of Clark University, Maine College of Art and Univ. of New Hampshire. St. Onge is the recipient of a Polaroid Artist Support Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, Critical Mass Exhibition Award, New Hampshire Charitable Arts Grant. Her work is widely collected, privately and publicly more notably, the Polaroid Corp, the Univ. of New Mexico Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and the Guggenheim Foundation.


Artist Statement:


My current body of work, Natural Findings, began with the idea, that our early foray into the natural world is not only innate, it is familial. When an older sibling offers up a jar of glowing fireflies, or a grandmother puts a Winter Berry on your tongue, we are in a colloquial, familiar manner opening the door to the larger world outside.


The photographs from Natural Findings explore the curiosity and awe of our early grasp of nature; a paper wasp nest that appears dropped from Mars, the frog egg masse that on close inspect, possible through a photograph, becomes a gelatinous scoop of stars, a constellation of black dots, soon to be tadpoles. My pictures delve into that personal moment when our fascination, at what has been collected and contained in that jar, box, or bag is visualized on film. The photographs become both the shared means of a longer examination and the conduit of our own private recollection of nature.The collections and process are in the realm of both science and curiosity. These moments of photographs are made slowly and carefully with an 8×10 view camera.


Why Black and White?


I think black and white both simplifies and magnifies everything and I love that.




To see more photographic series by Cheryle, please visit her website