**NEW ARTIST FEATURE**
Researching the potential of Pestalotiopsis Microspora Mushrooms I have grown Oyster
mushrooms from spores and buried resin photographic waste papers beneath the soil. Carefully
dissecting and observing the potential of the Mushroom's ability to break down the resin coating
on the surface of darkroom papers such as Ilford and Foma, once the paper turns to smaller
particles and the Mushrooms begin to die, I will pick them to eat and reuse the paper filled soil
for Rosemary plant beds.
The buried photographic resin print will live on through the veins of the Mushrooms. The
concept of burying photographic prints such as test strips, is to explore a literal and spiritual life
cycle. Which is the fundamental weight of my research, to find beginnings to an end and place
those back into the earth to be regenerated in the form of Mushrooms, which will finally be
transformed into new photographic prints.
The soil underneath the resin veined Oyster Mushrooms contributes to the growth of
neighbouring Rosemary, which I will pick and boil to create a natural sustainable Rosemary
Exploring a full life cycle the resin eating Mushrooms and paper waste will exist within my final
photographic prints. It will exist within the shards of Rosemary giving purple hued veins to the
Portrait Liquid Emulsions. Chemigrams made from mushroom skins and Phytograms from
phenol filled plants.
‘Our bodies full of natural bacteria, digestion, breathing- our feet stomping on fungi veins, in the
riddled underbelly of the soiled grounds. Similar to the touch of our skin, plants and flowers offer
us a touch not dissimilar to our own prickly textured elbows and soft hairs.’
I accumulate findings from varied areas of existence, an existence that is birthed from the lens,
under the idea of ‘light research’, immaterial and situational based research that is undertaken
within each unique photograph.
This work focuses on my fascination with romanticizing human encounters by staging fictitious
scenarios and capturing the immaterial nostalgic touch and impermanent human presence in
the forms of dancing and fleeting golden light on wrinkled skin. The blushes of purple flesh,
curled wet porous hair and softened eyelashes resting on silver nitrate riddled cheeks. I tinker
these staged scenarios with alchemical formulas and organic handmade photographic
developers. Through distilling these moments with handmade Rosemary developers these
photographs investigate a spiritual life cycle of death and rebirth. The material and immaterial
are married, existing through the physical discolouration of the photographic prints and
fantastical molecular regenerated entities and energies into the other realm that these prints
now hold. The subjects of the photographs both exist as a romantic and grotesque scenario that
I indulge in developing and dipping into waters that are fantasized and fantastical by spiritual
rebirth and factual scientific methodology.
Bouncing between sustainability within the darkroom, fictitious romanticism, scientific molecular
technology and spiritual energies, this research considers ideas of an artist's fantasy, factual
nature and spirituality. The act of fixing a print that holds the molecular weight of past waste
photographs, resin sucked through mushroom veins and shards of Rosemary photographic
blood. The molecular weight brings the fantastical to the photographic print alongside the
Rosemary photographic blood blushing through it. All the while the figure captured and
repeated throughout my photographs are either me or my closest relation.
This research uncovers a deeper analysis of sustainability, recycling in the form of factual
burying and fantastical spiritual rebirth. Photography here stands in as a visceral medium and
suggests an exchange between the immaterial and material existence of death, decay and
rebirth through the eyes of a romantic artist and a fascination with decomposition and the
last/first stages of existence.
The sublime feeling of romanticism and grotesque intrigue gives perception of obsession and
dreamlike states of mind, repeating and existing within our physical space through its birth from
the darkroom. Liquid Emulsions, Chemigrams and Solarised photographic prints form the
stages of birth, in between and final degradation of collapse. Liquid Emulsions give presence to
the birth of liquid light, whilst Solarisation separates and slices in betweenness, visible when you
move with the print and finally the collapse of Chemigrams made from dying mushrooms.