Essence is an intuitive exploration of a collective state of tension that arose from the 2019-20 Australian bushfires.Smoke suffocated cities... Read More
Essence is an intuitive exploration of a collective state of tension that arose from the 2019-20 Australian bushfires.
Smoke suffocated cities hundreds of kilometres away and then circled the earth. The fires burned more than eighteen million hectares taking the lives of over a billion animals and thirty-four people. The ripple effects are still in motion.
Yet, when I visited bushfire sites in Gippsland there was new life emerging. Baby green leaves, lush and succulent were growing out of charcoal trunks. Birds sang, insects buzzed. The earth was soft from recent rain. Creeks ran thick and black full of ash. I was struck by the duality of Nature; it is ferocious in both giving and taking.
Lumen printing is one of the earliest forms of photography. Created without a camera, objects are placed directly onto expired photographic paper and then exposed to sunlight. The transparent and opaque qualities of the object intercept the sunlight manifesting a photograph.
The flora used to create Essence was collected from Bushfires sites in Gippsland, Victoria. These subjects had undergone an alteration of their natural state; no longer full of life, they were dehydrated and fragile from the fires. Responding to the specificity of my photo subjects, I expanded on traditional processes, treating the paper with water and chemicals to create dynamic exposures.
Just like nature, the process of Lumen printing can be mastered but is ultimately untameable. Both in method and concept the artworks explore the duality of fragility and strength.
Each image in Essence is a creation using evidence from a catastrophe.