Can we learn from our future history?

Wet plate collodion glass negative, burned pine, lavender oil

The work is composed of an 8x10-inch glass negative, photographed by using the wet plate collodion process and placed in a frame built from seared, blackened pinewood.

The second part of the work comprises a text of an upcoming past, which is placed next to the image. These two elements provide a A glimpse into an alternative future and a possibility to stop and think about the direction in which we are heading.

Each material used in the work is infused with a powerful, symbolic meaning.

The skull is artificial and man-made, the quintessential version of the average skull of a European.

The pine and the rosebay willowherb are both pioneer species. They are the first plants to re-emerge from the ground after forest fires and clearings. A piece of wood that has once been subjected to fire becomes resilient to the stress of the environment and resistant to re-ignition. 

Sand, and glass made of sand, is a non-renewable resource, which together with drinking water and oil is one of the most sought-after resources in the world.

People have used lavender from the cradle to the grave since the Antiquity. Lavender provides stress relief and comfort, and it has also been used in the embalming process.

In addition to photography, collodion solution used to be – and still is – used in the treatment of wounds.

Before the invention of antibiotics, silver nitrate was used in medicine as a disinfectant, in the treatment of gonorrhea, and the removal of warts. Silver is the most reflective of all metals, and it also conducts electricity and heat better than any other metal.

Sandarac is a resin that has been used in protective coatings since the Middle Ages.

 It has also been used as incense.

Additional info

This work was part of The annual BFA graduates’ degree exhibition in 2020.