heidi kirkpatrick
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Botanical Photograms

This work is inspired by the history of photography, my new teaching job, my amazing students, and my inspirational garden.

This summer I was making slides for my classes, revisiting some of the earliest history of photography. I was looking at Anna Atkins work of 1843. She was a British photographer and the first person, let alone woman, to publish a book using photography, Sun Gardens-Victorian Photograms.

I wanted to teach this process to my classes and decided I should make some examples to show because I had not made photograms for years. I turned to my garden, which brings me so much joy, for my subject matter. I was hooked at the first image I printed. I have always loved alternative process, and it is interesting I developed over 100 rolls of film this last summer and I am showing cameraless photography.

I have had a lot of “things” happen to me this past year and I really needed to make some happy work. The majority of my work is typically so pointed, women’s issues, breast cancer, doubt of self image, to name a few, I didn’t have it in me to make work of this nature (don’t worry, I am not done with the girlie thing) so I turned to my garden. I also collected specimens from the beach while on a getaway weekend with seven high school students.

It is interesting how my not working with models produced so many images that have a very human quality to them.

So thanks to my new teaching position, my students who continually amaze and inspire me, my beautiful home and garden and of course the undying love of my husband, family and friends, I bring you my new body of work, Botanical Photograms. I hope you enjoy the images as much as I loved making them.

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