Mary Curtis Ratcliff’s photographic compositions are the product of a prolonged meditation on her surroundings. Camera in hand, Ratcliff works intuitively, seeking to capture raw images that while often mysteriously complex, are infused with a sense of calm. Once back in her studio, the images are converted to monochrome and digitally printed on an archival substrate. The surface of the print is then meticulously handworked by the application of thin acrylic washes of color, the addition of solvent-based transfers, collaging of other photos, and drawing with ink, colored pencil or graphite. Ratcliff’s stunning multi-layered compositions are poetic evocations of time and place, paradoxically anchored by the underlying subject matter, compositional structures, and tonality of the original photograph but freely drifting through seas of higher consciousness.
—Peter Honig, Mercury 20 Gallery, 2013