05 July 2018
Almudena Romero is a contemporary artist who works with a variety of photographic processes to address themes of identity, and how the medium helps to organise our perceptions. She will be a familiar name to our readers, having previously visited the London Flower School to demonstrate the cyanotype process. Now, we are proud to announce that we have sponsored her latest work, Growing Concerns, which is being exhibited at Photofusion between 28 June and 28 July.
Growing Concerns focuses on early photographic processes, such as wet collodion, and uses them to reflect on a number of the most pressing challenges of the 21stcentury. Almudena describes the subject matter as 'the increasing restrictions of movement for persons and the reduction of regulatory barriers for goods and capital'.
The work itself has two components. The first is a series of wet collodion tintype portraits that explores not only the growing restrictions of movement for diverse groups of people, but also themes of national identity, and the construction of the other. This early photographic technique rose to prominence, and are still mostly practiced, in Europe. However, they relied on a number of minerals that are mined in colonial regions, and often featured non-European subjects, fetishised as primitive or exotic. Hence, early photography and its methods developed a complex relationship with the concept of otherness.
Growing Concerns exhibition at Le Centquatre, Paris. Image credits: Almudena Romero
The second component in the exhibition is a series of chlorophyll prints that focuses on the reduction of restrictions and regulations for goods and money. These images use easily available plants from Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, and make use of images that correspond to the regions from which each plant originates.
The chlorophyll process is a fascinating and beautiful way to capture images. It relies on sun bleaching and the use of a positive to create photographic representations directly onto leaves. It originated with British artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey, but it was a third artist, Binh Danh, who took inspiration from the anthotype process to refine a method of applying a positive directly to a living leaf. The sun was then used to bleach this image directly onto it, resulting in a poignant blend of the human and natural worlds. Watch the video below for a step by step guide of the process.
Video produced by Alvaro Gomez Pidal
Almudena’s Growing Concerns has already been exhibited in London and Europe, and is a 'can’t miss' event for anyone interested in the relationship between flora and the visual arts. London Flower School is proud to have sponsored the exhibition with the cost of plants used in her prints, which (despite coming from all over the world) are all readily available in the big markets of the flower industry, such as the New Covent Garden Market.