This work is the product of an ongoing collaboration between Carol Panaro-Smith and James Hajicek.
Our collaboration started using the very source of photography – the process known as photogenic drawing. Plants were exposed in contact with hand-coated light sensitive paper (using only silver and salt) and this organic material withered under the intense heat and light of the Arizona sun as they completed their final act - the creation of their own image. The simple and direct nature of this process and its historical significance were key to the foundation of our collaboration.
All prints are unique works. Prints from the Earth Vegetation series are printed on vellum and are 24" x 18". Prints from the Arc of Departure series are a combination of photogenic drawing chemistry on top of toned cyanotypes printed on silk tissue and vary in size from 24"x18" to 16"x16" and the Diptych prints are 6" x 12".
For 10 years Carol Panaro-Smith and James Hajicek have been working collaboratively using the process of photogenic drawing – one of photography’s earliest and most beautiful. It is also one of the most direct processes that resides at the sacred core of photography. Plants are simply placed in direct contact with hand-coated light sensitive paper and placed under an intense summer sun so that they may they complete their final act of withering and dying as they create a lasting image of themselves.
We work with variations of Fox Talbot’s chemical formulas from the 1830's and discovered that altering the light sensitive solutions, the chemistry in the paper, the intensity and accompanying heat of the light, and the chemicals emerging from the organic material, a color palette and physical presence emerged in the print creating an ‘organic artifact’ beyond the imagination of anything previously thought of as photographic. We have taken great care to produce this work in the most archival method possible without altering its inherent organic essence.
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