From the Same Bulb

From the Same Bulb is a series of camera-less imagery made directly from Elephant Ear plants grown in my garden. The project began as an experiment in 2005, the year my husband, Kevin, and I first planted the bulbs. I was fascinated by the size of the leaf and wondered how it would reproduce as a black and white photogram. After one printing session I was committed to the process. Over the course of ten years, the work evolved to include scanned color imagery of both the leaves and the bulbs.Fortunately and unfortunately, this photographic experiment turned into a yearly ritual that I used to process my grief for Kevin, who died suddenly in April 2006. Working on our home and in our garden were a significant part of our relationship. From the Same Bulb integrates aspects of our shared life and allows me to move forward while staying connected to my past.

2005 - 2015

All images are printed 20” x 24”. Color Images are Archival Inkjet Prints made in an edition of 5. Black and White images are one of a kind Gelatin Silver Prints.

Woodlands

 My relationship with nature began when I was eight years old.  At that time, my two best friends and I would walk every day after school to the neighborhood park to climb a group of three trees. Each of us had a favorite that we claimed as our own. Because most of the branches were intertwined, we could climb to the top, move from tree to tree, and hang out until we had to go home.

Twelve years later, I was living with my husband Kevin in a geodesic dome that was situated in the woods on the side of a mountain.  This collection of photographs began among those trees, and follows my relationship, over the next 40 years, with light, loss, chaos and place. And as all relationships change through the mechanisms of time and chance, so has my photographic response to the woods.

1979 - ongoing.

All images are Archival Inkjet Prints - 20” x 20” made in an edition of 5.

This body of work is published in the 2018 monograph A Woodlands Journal. The book can be purchased at https://silvereye.org/shop/a-woodlands-journal-signed

or

http://www.spacescorners.com/books/A%20Woodlands%20Journal-Sue%20Abramson.html

Homegrown

 I’ve been using my garden as photographic subject matter for the past twenty-five years. This series of photographs is an excerpt from my journal of vegetable garden images for the year 2012. The composites are partially inspired by Karl Blossfeldts’ “Working Collages” in that they are a detailed inventory of plant forms. But much like the work of Charles Jones’ in his monograph “Plant Kingdom” they document a gardener’s summer specimens with a certain amount of pride. I had a good year and a good yield. All the subjects in this portfolio, recorded over a period of months, have also been eaten, frozen or composted.

The process of making this work at first seems relatively simple; plants are placed directly on the scanner glass and recorded. But in fact it is more complex, these objects that are initially captured on a horizontal plane, when finished, are perceived as vertical compositions. Vegetables that were originally sitting on a flat glass surface transform into free-floating objects; the bits of dirt and dust surrounding some of them give the illusion of space. Another discovery I found when making these photographs is that when the scanner’s surface is incorporated into the final picture it’s visual syntax is reminiscent of contemporary wet-plate collodion prints. And just like a 19th century Ambrotype the addition of a black layer behind the glass negatives reveals significant changes.

2012 - 2013

All images are Archival Inkjet Prints on 20” x 24” paper made in a limited edition of 5.

Zone Blue

This series of cyanotypes is my current work-in-progress. The images were made during my walks and travels over the last several years and the work is an affirmation and celebration of the earth’s ever changing landscape.

In the book Imagine Jonah Lehrer writes, “The color blue automatically triggers associations with the sky and ocean. We think about expansive horizons and diffuse light, sandy beaches and lazy summer days; alpha waves instantly increase. This sort of mental relaxation makes it easier to daydream and pay attention to insights; we’re less focused on what’s right in front of us and more aware of the possibilities simmering in our imaginations.”

For me, these cyanotypes evoke a strong emotional response, to both the original landscape and the seductive quality of the color blue.

2014-2018

All images are printed 14” x 21” in a limited edition of 4.