The ancient Greeks imagined the machinery of fate as three women, weaving the lives of human and gods into an enormous tapestry, killing or giving life by snipping or knotting a thread. Through the medium of photography, in my new series Woven, I imagine myself introducing time and thus mortality, into the lush flora and fauna which make up the millefleurs backgrounds of medieval hunting and falconry tapestries. The 5 x 10 foot photographs sometimes take weeks to compose, and during this process of composition, of collecting, arranging, burning, painting, and transplanting, there is change. Flowers wither, spiders build webs, new shoots emerge, and corpses decay. Influenced both by the Dutch vanitas tradition and the allover graphic compositions of Jackson Pollock, I intend the photographs to be experienced as exquisitely detailed still lives when viewed from up close, but to hold together as a immersive, more abstract composition from further away. Although the pieces are all made on the same wooden frame and printed at the same scale, each photograph incorporates a distinct set of conceptual and visual ideas. Some are densely packed with rotting plant and animal life, and others more open, sprinkled with small brightly colored flowers or verdant moss. What is common to all, however, is a sense of opulence which verges on excess, a plenty which verges on plunder. In these elaborately artificial tableaux, the inexorable movements of nature are shown forth and growth and decay, beauty and terror, life and death are woven together.
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