Garden, 2003-19

Garden, 2003-19

A series of seven toned gelatin silver films recording the shadows of garden plants without a camera. Each film is encapsulated in a Mylar envelope inscribed with a laser-engraved number. Displayed backlit atop light tables. Unique objects.

It was shortly after reading the IPCC Climate Change Synthesis Report of 2001 and re-reading Rachel Carson’s classic Silent Spring that I recorded these shadows of springtime exotics flowering in a neighbours’ suburban front yard. I had no conscious rationale for making the images. Wild not cultivated places had always been my preferred subject. But if crops are the botanical opposite of wilderness, domestic gardens are somewhere between. Neither true nature nor complete artifice, gardens exist to quench aesthetic and spiritual thirst as much as material hunger. It took me years to appreciate that, in the face of the trauma of the global ecological crisis, creating images of these ordinary plants was an act of hope: hope that regardless of the juggernaut of anthropogenic destruction, the diversity and vitality of life (human and not) on this little blue-green dot might yet endure.

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