Touching Indigo, 2018
Sequence of four inkjet prints each reiterating a plein air cameraless gelatin silver photogram. Each image is a 90 cm x 90 cm on a 100 x 100 cm rag paper sheet. Overall installation is 200 cm x 200 cm (arranged 2 x 2) or 100 cm x 400 cm (arranged aligned), unframed. Produced in edition of one + one artist’s proof. Smaller-sized, non-editioned versions are available on request. Enquire here.
Night was falling on the Mallee saltpan when the downpour began. Working by touch, I released living cabbage butterflies (Pieris rapae) onto fresh sheets of unexposed film before triggering each flash. The colourised enlargements of these images—rain-soaked shadows soiled by the insects’ urine and wing-dust—are reminiscent of shibori, a traditional Japanese resist dyeing technique. Often featuring Lepidoptera motifs, the shibori process is slow, tactile and stains the artisan’s skin with the plant dye, Indigofera tinctoria. By contrast, the production process for this print series was distanced and rapid. Yet, despite their mode of manufacture, the images’ style and content manifests wabi sabi of a kind often expressed in shibori textiles: an aesthetics privileging imperfection, humility and transience.
A related artwork, The End of the Age of Entitlement, reiterates a separate cameraless film created the same stormy night.