Bio-Ephemera

“A person unacquainted with the process, if told that nothing of all this was executed by hand, must imagine that one has at one’s call the Genius of Aladdin’s Lamp. And, indeed, it may almost be said, that this is something of the same kind. It is a bit of magic realized: - of natural magic.”

William Henry Fox Talbot, Some account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing, or the Process by Which Natural Objects May be Made to Delineate Themselves, Without the Aid of the Artist’s Pencil , 1839

Bio-Ephemera, explores the transitory nature of the natural world. After being collected and recorded, the botanical specimens are returned to the earth. The resulting images capture part of the transient cycle of the natural world.

This series of lumen prints follows a tradition of botanical subject matter that began in the early 19th century with Henry Fox Talbot’s photogenic drawing (photograms) of plant material and Anna Atkins camera-less botanical studies of British algae. The images are created without the use of a camera which creates a more direct and tactile relationship with the subject.

Lumen prints are made by placing plant material directly on outdated black and white photographic paper. Glass is placed over the flora and paper, then exposed to direct sunlight for 1 to 6 hours. During the exposure, heat, moisture and chlorophyll effect the photographic paper producing a colored image. After the desire exposure, the prints are fixed and then washed.