GENERATION

An installation of new photographic work by Lucas McLaughlin

The Chapel, Regent's Park College, Oxford

I made these prints by placing the germinating seeds on a glass slide in a photographic enlarger in the place where the negative would usually go.

These prints could perhaps be considered cameraless photographs or photographic prints because they were made without a camera, but functionally the photographic enlarger functions as a camera, or for that matter as a microscope. This enabled me to create prints of extremely small objects. An arabidopsis seed for example is less than a millimeter in diameter.

The unique prints (in natural wood frames) are made using direct positive silver gelatin paper without creating a negative.

To make the digital prints (in white frames) I created negatives using the silver gelatin process to create negatives which I scanned with a high resolution scanner and digitally processed. They are then printed using pigment inks on 100% cotton paper. This process is commonly called giclée.

Arabidopsis Thaliana is the first plant to have its genome sequenced and is used as a model organism for genetic research. It was also one of the plants grown as part of the unmanned Chang’e 4 mission on the far side of the moon.

It is an unassuming edible plant and considered a weed. You have doubtless seen many. They are native to Africa, Asia, and Europe and naturalized throughout most of the world.

It is a member of the brassica family, which contains many of the green vegetables that are supposed to be good for you but often are unpopular with children including kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts and many more.

Another name for the brassica family is the mustard family.

The other seed that I used to create this work is the black mustard seed. Mustard seeds are used as similes or comparisons in many religious traditions including Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam.

I do not intend these works to have a specific religious or scientific message but I hope that people who are interested in either or both will be able to find something in these photographs.

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