My series, Photofauna Floragrams, explores the hidden beauty and structure of a diversity of natural elements such as birds, blooming flowers, and insects with an analog darkroom technique called photograms. Photograms have existed since the XIX century, and many pioneer photographers have used this approach to record their subjects with light. This traditional cameraless process creates a unique photographic print that is void of any digital methods.
The organic material is composed on a piece of photographic paper and exposed to light coming from the enlarger above. As the light goes through the semi-translucent compositions, a unique imprint is formed on the paper. These markings are reversed in color and tonality once the paper is processed. The photogram technique does not fully record the details and forms of the plants and animals as a photograph would but rather captures a more obscure and painterly depiction of the subjects’ structures and details, creating imagery that oscillates between abstraction and representation.
Nature’s color, patterns, and structure are developed over the years as a mechanism for organisms to adapt to their environment and succeed as a species. My work uses the colors and patterns of living organisms and transforms them into something symbolic and monumental by documenting, magnifying, and abstracting the unseen, hidden world of complex forms, textures, and vibrant colors. The imagery portrays the vulnerability and fragility of nature itself. The inherent decay of organic matter reminds the viewer of the evanescence of life.