Amanda Marchand Statement

Artist Statement
The World is Astonishing with You in it: A 21st Century Field Guide to the Birds, Ferns and Wildflowers.

These are lumen prints from a larger, ongoing series "Lumen Notebook." In these sun-prints, I explore ideas about our changing environment through the temporality of photography’s lumen process. These images are all made with expired and current black & white photo papers. This work employs three field guides – North American birds, ferns and wildflowers. I mark/expose the photographic paper, making one mark per quadrant or half, with an edge of the respective Field Guide book. Each photograph references an endangered or disappearing species (bird, fern, wildflower).

I have been making the work in nature, at different residencies, and my family's Canadian cabin, where the birds and ferns and wildflowers abound. This is a personal meditation – as each paper shifts color, slowly or quickly, in the variegated light of the sun.

Process Statement
Over the last four years, Marchand has been working with this unpredictable, camera-less process (also known as sun-prints or photograms), using various black and white photo papers and exposing them to sunlight. Each particular paper brand, photo finish and paper type, combined with different exposures, produces a spectrum of colors. Because the lumen colors are fugitive, the exposed papers act as negatives which are fixed by scanning, sometimes multiple times, although they also continue to change color/ darken due to the light of the scanner.

Marchand began this work by using objects and ephemera from her studio as the tools to block light – starting with utilitarian photo boxes and envelopes; then moving to reference books and artist monographs -- as she pursued a process for the work based in language and as well as in visual cues. She approached each exposure as a measure of time, a meditation; in turn, the exposed papers are then cut and re-assembled into collages of multiple panels. The fundamentals of this fugitive process are an important point of departure from the documentary qualities of camera-based photography, and mark an embrace of a materials-based approach which combines early photographic methods with new technologies.

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