My works are journals of personal and communal tellings. Specifically, “I have come to my garden” is a series of scrolled nature journals of my garden, Song of Songs, plant life cycles, and my pregnant self. I make them with cyanotypes, an early photographic printing process used to record nature and make blueprints. To make the negatives for the prints, I digitally manipulate photographs of nature, personal writings, and Biblical and other communal texts. I arrange and layer the negatives onto chemically sensitized papers, expose them to sunlight, and process in water. The processed papers turn a brilliant Prussian blue. Sometimes, I layer multiple printings and collage actual plant materials into the prints. The layering of photos and text within the images, mirror the layering of my memories of nature, myself, and my community. The intentional fading of the texts alludes to the simultaneous absence and presence of the memories.
This collaboration with the essentials of nature (sun and water) reflect my inspiration for my work, which is nature itself. I honor this relationship in my installation work where I create Wunderkammern with the photographs of dried aloe and shofars; as well as the actual plants and taxidermy that were used to make the photographs, scrolls, and cyanotypes. I present the scrolls with their sources as a community; and they tell new stories.
Henry David Thoreau said, “The only people who ever get any place interesting are the people who get lost.” One summer I was a resident artist at Weir Farm in Wilton, CT, and I got lost. I wandered the woods, collected plants and other natural materials, and scanned the plants in various stages of life. Once, the scanner started before I was ready and it created an image of my hand arranging some flowers. This “accident” became a more intentional series of scans, Arrangements, where I introduced movement and my body. My wanderings (I did actually get lost in the woods) and accidents broadened my practice of documenting, and the materials I use. And they are all—materials, images, texts—accumulating in my wunderkammern.