I create unique and experimental work that is issue-driven and poignant, yet oftentimes also filled with beauty and humor. I began using the print-out process onto silver gelatin paper, colloquially called a lumen, as a way to talk about our environmental crisis. It is a process that uses the sun’s power directly to rearrange the paper's silver structure. I feel it is a perfect way to talk about our impact on the environment and how our actions and choices are affecting the protection of the earth from the sun, causing catastrophic results.
This work is made using throw-away plastic bottles and bags gleaned from the surroundings. I am cutting up plastic shopping bags mimicking the creation of microplastic that is clogging up our environment and oceans and is found in the food we eat and the water we drink. It is found in our bodies and in our blood. We cannot talk about climate change without talking about the sun. I place the plastic bits onto the light-sensitive paper, sometimes along with plant material or single-use bottles, and bring them into the sun to create photograms. The sun’s photons are striking the paper with such violence that they structurally change the silver matrix of the paper, creating colors. Afterward, it is archivally fixed in the darkroom. At times, I also combine a traditional develop-out process along with the print-out process.
I have faith that there are many actions we can do to slow down our impact on the environment. Every piece of new plastic begins as a fossil fuel, and greenhouse gases are emitted at each stage of the plastic lifecycle. Add to that, plastic’s ongoing impact once it reaches our waterways and landscape. Plastic refining is among the most greenhouse-gas intensive industries in the manufacturing sector, and one of the fastest-growing. As individuals, we can seek out plastic-free packaging, reuse and recycle the best we can. Yet, packaging manufacturers need to find alternatives to wrapping every product in plastic and use plastic alternatives.