slacken + swell is a visual story of the Buffalo Bayou—an accumulation of time, history, and place. Buffalo Bayou is roughly 18,000 years old; a sleepy river of water that quietly supports diverse ecosystems, often going unnoticed until the wind shepherds in the next big storm. Over the past 100 years, history shows how the bayou has been shaped, molded, enforced, contained, and framed into a body of water that now serves our economic interests more than our natural ones. slacken + swell is a meditation on reciprocity between humans and their landscape.
Having spent much of my life near these ecosystems, I acknowledge our complicated relationship with the natural world, acting as both keepers and destroyers. This installation explores how the land holds memory and the possibility of preserving these recollections. Plants found along the bayou are crystallized, acting as a unique medium for capturing fleeting moments in time. The choice to frame (and not frame) suggests the attempt to contain both the water and the wilderness. The layering that exists within the installation acts as a way to conceal while also indicating the landscape’s depth of history just beneath the surface. The hyper-saturated, toned, fixed, and unfixed cyanotypes signify the expanse of water and the interventions employed to contain it. Individual pieces come together to form a melancholic aesthetic of comfort and angst, life and decay, severance and union.
slacken + swell invites viewers to meditate on the reciprocity between individuals and their environment, fostering a deeper appreciation of the intricate interplay between humans and nature.
slacken + swell
Installed on-site at Houston Center for Photography,
Cyanotype on paper, found frames, cement, glass jars, potassium ferricyanide crystals on found plants, artist made steel shelving