Paul Wainwright blurs the line between physics and photography in THE PENDULUM PROJECT

  • Paul Wainwright, 143p, gelatin silver print, 11" x 14", edition size 20

    Paul Wainwright, 143p, gelatin silver print, 11" x 14", edition size 20

    Geras Tousignant Gallery

  • Paul Wainwright, 128g, gelatin silver print, 11" x 14", edition size 20

    Paul Wainwright, 128g, gelatin silver print, 11" x 14", edition size 20

    Geras Tousignant Gallery

  • Paul Wainwright, 126g, gelatin silver print, 11" x 14", edition size 20

    Paul Wainwright, 126g, gelatin silver print, 11" x 14", edition size 20

    Geras Tousignant Gallery

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (February 27, 2017) -- A high school physics class 50 years ago was the inspiration for fine art photographer Paul Wainwright’s mesmerizing THE PENDULUM PROJECT that is set to debut at Geras Tousignant Gallery in Palm Springs.
Artist Reception: Friday, March 3, 2017 5-8pm
Geras Tousignant Gallery 
278-B North Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262

The series of time-lapse “points of lights” works is based in science, but will hold the viewer’s eyes and mind for hours by the intricacy of the black and white photos.  
“As a photographer myself I find Paul’s work very intriguing and I am proud to offer the exhibit during gallery’s first Modernism Week in Palm Springs,” said owner, James Scott Geras. “Because of the way the photographs are created, there is a symmetry in each piece that cannot be replicated. Each photograph created by THE PENDULUM PROJECT is unique and one of a kind.”  
Spirals, ellipticals and sine waves dance across stark black backgrounds. The viewer’s mind can almost imagine the swings of the large-scale dual pendulums built by Wainwright and the click of the camera shutter in his New Hampshire barn/studio to create the time-lapse photos. Much as Wainwright has imagined the images since he first became fascinated by the concept in a high school physics class nearly 50 years ago.
“The idea for this series of photographs first came to me in the fall of 1967 when, as a senior in high school, I had my first physics course,” Wainwright notes on his description of THE PENDULUM PROJECT. “The ‘double pendulum’ is a common textbook exercise that is familiar to any student of physics, but I saw it as an artistic tool. I proceeded to make a number of simple time exposure photographs, looking up at a small neon bulb attached to a double pendulum. These attempts were quite crude, but they demonstrated the concept, and served as inspiration for my thoughts.”
Although he originally intended to go to college to study photography, his fascination with physics sent him to Yale University where he earned Ph.D. and to work at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. In 2001, Wainwright retired from the corporate world to return full-time to create the beautiful atmospheric black-and-white photography of winterscapes, barren trees and lonely meeting houses that he has become known for over the past 16 years.
When he is working Wainwright is never far from that early photographic experiment: he keeps one of the prints from his on a wall of in his studio.
Wainwright works in traditional manner using sheet film, a 4-x-5-inch large format camera and silver gelatin printing. Working with traditional photographic methods, he achieves in his prints a sense of quiet contemplation that comes from the slow, Zen-like pace of creating his images. For THE PENDULUM PROJECT, which took nearly five years of planning and execution, he replaced the original neon bulb with an LED (light emitting diode) to achieve the precise points of light in each photograph. He worked at night, in total darkness, with the camera fixed focused straight onto the LED light so that once placed in motion the camera captures the traces of the LED to “paint” each unique picture.
Wainwright's previous work has been juried into the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire; the Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso, New Mexico; the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado; the Photomedia Center in Erie, Pennsylvania; and the San Diego Art Institute in San Diego. His work is in the collections of both private and corporate collectors, including the Boston Public Library, Fidelity Investments, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Geras Tousignant Gallery is owned by James Scott Geras and recently moved from San Francisco to Palm Springs. THE PENDULUM PROJECT will run through March 15 at Geras Tousignant Gallery located at 278-B N Palm Canyon Drive, in the Henry Frank Arcade, in Palm Springs.

Established in 1998, the Geras–Tousignant Gallery is known for exhibiting outstanding artists. The Gallery’s representation of art includes classic, traditional, and contemporary design. The International and American artists represented are on the cutting edge of their craft, and paintings, photography, sculpture, fine glass, and art objects. Geras Tousignant offers expert art consultation services for private and corporate clientele, along with commissioned works.

Geras Tousignant Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For information on the gallery and current exhibitions. For the website, go to; or Facebook page -; or call (760) 485-3787.
Geras Tousignant Gallery
278-B North Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, California
(760) 485-3787
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