Sciaroidea Galaxias, 2021

The genesis of this piece started during the early days of lockdown, when like many, I was given the chance to slow down and spend more time noticing the things immediately around me. The enforced time at home pushed me to become more resourceful and I started growing edible plants from the seeds in my food, seeds I would usually discard. However, the increased flora attracted an unwanted increase in insect fauna, which I controlled with simple sticky traps. What began as a response to financial uncertainty developed into a body of work investigating the photographic possibilities of plants and the paraphernalia one needs to keep these plants alive.

By selecting, arranging and photographing the traps in small grids of 4×2 collages, I created a series of seventeen black and white abstract images. Each one is a reflection of the decisions, lives and random movements of hundreds of tiny fungus gnats. When captured on expired large format film using LED grow lamps as the light source, and contact printed onto Direct Positive paper, this chaos reminded me of the cosmos. This got me thinking about scale, the micro versus the macro, with connectedness and with the idea of iterations.

Continuing my ongoing exploration into the ‘photographic object’ and the blurring of the photographic and sculptural disciplines, I have backed the images with magnets. This allows for an innumerous array of possible presentations, from wall mounting to tabletop, all neatly contained inside a purpose-made coffret. By releasing the photograph from past restraints, I seek ways in which to emphasize the inherent haptic qualities of the print.

Sciaroidea Galaxias also became a way for me to turn the grotesque into the beautiful.

(Sciaroidea Galaxias, 17 magnetic photographic cards, instruction leaflet, wall mount and display box, 2021, 29 x 23 x 9cm, one of a kind)