Denise Rouleau and Mark D. Roberts weren't intending to mark the end of an era. They just wanted to put together an exhibition of photos of Como Park's Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, one of their favorite places to shoot.
"We'd been photographing at Como for a while," said Rouleau. "We were kind of in the middle of it when we found out Polaroid was going to stop making film."
Specifically, the SX-70 film, the old-fashioned "instant" kind that Rouleau and Roberts had been using. Instead of abandoning the project, the duo decided to dedicate the rest of their stock of SX-70 film to the exhibition, now on display.
Rouleau and Roberts shot photos -- of Como's orchids and lilies and fig trees and the famous Sunken Garden --and manipulated the soft film emulsions to create impressionistic, sometimes almost abstract images. The show includes 25 images, some as large as 4 feet square, printed on a metallic coated paper that enhances the textural qualities of the images.
Rouleau said that the conservatory and the Polaroid pictures make a surprisingly good pairing. "The conservatory deals with the rare and exotic," she said. "Now the film is both."