PDN Photo of the Day

Impermanence and Myth, Made from Flowers

Most photographers make every effort to keep their prints from fading, but Christine Elfman goes to involved lengths make images that she knows will change over time. “Even Amaranth,” an exhibition of her work at Gallery Wendi Norris in San Francisco, on view until September 3, includes anthotypes she made from amaranth, the grain with deep fuchsia flowers, which she grew from seeds. Elfman used its juice in a photographic emulsion, producing prints in a range of reds, pinks and browns. Although the flower’s Greek name means ‘unfading,’ the images of marble and plaster statuary she produced from its dye will shift over time and when exposed to strong light. Along with these plant-based prints, the show includes silver gelatin photograms that are painted with amaranth, and pigment prints of landscapes that suggest nature’s turn toward winter and reference the Roman myth of Diana and Actaeon. Together, Elfman’s images offer a way to think about impermanence, both photographic and universal.

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Fine Art


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