I began gathering plants when on outings to the countryside and parks with my parents in 2013. They were in their late 80s and experiencing memory loss and dementia. I created lumen prints with what I had gathered as a memory of our time together. It was a desperate attempt to replace their lost memories with new ones. They both enjoyed gardening and had a small beautiful garden at their condo. They also often came to my house that was close by to help plant and weed. Their disappearing memories were not unlike the fading plants in my prints.
Lumen printing is a camera-less technique creating photograms by using black and white darkroom photographic paper and plants. The plants used in these lumen prints were gathered from my gardens and those of my parents as well as from our outings together. The plants were placed on black and white photographic paper and left in the sun for 30 minutes to several hours. The colors are a result of the type of paper and plants, humidity, and intensity of sunlight and are quite unpredictable. The resulting photographs are ghost images of the original plants, fleeting memories of summers and shared times.
All images and text © Vicki Reed
By Vicki Reed