The Close-Up World of Dr. Frangst
My photographic working method is a synthesis of past and present, memory and imagination. I carry an old wooden tripod and view camera, a lab coat and lengthy cable release. With the use of the historic process of cyanotype, I acknowledge nineteenth century naturalists John Herschel and Anna Atkins who used it to record their notes or specimens of nature. I return to familiar places or explore new ones with photographic equipment in the hope of claiming them.
In a past life, I worked in a cell biology lab for a researcher who insisted we never wear our lab coats out of doors. I imagine an alter ego, a doppelganger who is a scientist but in a very anachronistic way. He wears a lab coat outdoors never to wear it inside. His laboratory is nature and his body’s senses are just the instruments to divine its wonders. Through a series of letters (done in cyanotype) to his colleagues he articulates his methodology, areas of interest and the subjectivity of his findings. Photographs of himself and photograms of his investigations allude to the methods of his research.
From my photographic struggles, the pleasure I descend to is a backwards glance through the eyes of an imagined naturalist. He sees in cyan what we have over looked, searching unlikely places at unlikely times, and asking questions about the wonder about which we have forgotten to ask.