Ongoing series, camera-less gelatin silver prints
30cm x 30cm, 17cm x 17cm
Expired KODAK paper
Crushed quartz, mining tailings, desert dust
Fixed in salt solution
Groundwork is a camera-less photographic series made using quartz rock, desert dust and tailings rock. These are the geologies of silver extraction sites, which provide the silver that coats photographic paper.
As a photographic metal, silver's extraction displaced Indigenous peoples and reworked topographies, vegetation patterns and watercourses. It polluted soils and waterways with mercury. These heavy metals continue to contaminate these spaces today.
This series acknowledges the groundwork involved in generating photographic metals like silver. The interaction of photographic silver on the paper surface with different chemical compositions of the rock generates its own tones as these materials are reunited with each other.
This forms part of a long-term engagement with extracted landscapes and their agencies within the worlds of analogue photography.
Made during the 2022 Silver City artist residency, Nevada, USA.