Modern Nature Photograms, 2019


I head outdoors at night, looking for strange objects and performing odd rituals - a nocturnal communion with nature creating a series of photograms. Rather than trying to conjure supernatural forces, I try to capture the transcendent beauty of what's plainly within reach, and reminds us that the mysteries of the natural world are already boundless. My photograms of water, seaweed, and shells hint at the story of their making, but leave plenty unsaid.

Occasionally, my source material is portable enough to be brought into my studio, where I can work more slowly. When working directly in the landscape, however, I go out to a previously scouted location to document the subject of the work. There are a lot of variables that affect where and when I can work: weather, safety, light pollution, and the phase of the moon, because even moonlight will expose the paper.

Afterwards I expose the paper in a portable darkroom. Some images are presented as final; others will be used as accomplices for other works. This series’ intention is to draw connections between our broken relationship with nature and the experience of being human.

 © 2020 Emily Whitebread

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