My mother was looking through a drawer filled with old photos and mementos when she discovered a herbarium that had belonged to my great-grandfather's sister. She had completed this herbarium as a school project in 1895, at the age of 15. My mother gave me this folio. Not only was I taken with the fact that I was looking at plants that had been pressed 114 years ago, but I was also taken with the beautiful effect created by the ghostly reverse photographic images that the plants had left imprinted on the opposing pages.
Before viewing this herbarium, I had already considered creating ghostly images of plants that are native to my yard. These would be woodland plants of the Carolinian Forest. Inspired by what I saw in my great-great aunt's book, I contacted a photographer friend of mine who suggested that I use a Lumen printing process in which the light of the sun exposed photographic images of plants laid out on photo-sensitive paper. The results are stunning. I want to state here that I have not been poaching protected wild areas for the plants I use in this series. They have all come from private properties with their owners’ blessings.
Trout Lily, 16X20"
May Flower, 16X20"
Canadian Columbine, 16X 20"