Anthotype image of Red Elderberry and Horsetail using Skunk Cabbage emulsion

We’ve been making anthotypes, an alternative photographic process, utilizing plants found in and around the swamp, both as medium (emulsion) and subject matter.

For our first anthotypes, we made photosensitive emulsion from skunk cabbage (aka swamp lanterns) and created contact prints over hours in full sun with native plants.

The images will fade over time, especially if left in the light; and their fugitive nature reflects the changing water/landscape that constantly reshapes itself.

Left: Redtwig Dogwood branch on Salmonberry emulsion, Right: Salmonberry branch on Red Elderberry emulsion

Many of the mediums in Palūs use a hands-on approach; and the project foregrounds physical, tactile experience and the ideas of presence and immediacy. The living water, weather and plants mark our materials, leaving palpable traces of their presence. As records and evocations of these ephemeral moments of contact, our hope is that the work will invite haptic sensing in addition to visual and intellectual perception and suggest the possibility of embodied and experiential understanding.

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