My grandfather was a biology teacher who instilled within me a desire to look at the world through careful observation at a young age. When I was six, he gave me a set of prisms to teach me about light and color. A few years later I received a microscope, which allowed me to peer into the tiny mysteries encapsulated within droplets of water. When I wasn’t marveling over his fossil collection with a magnifying glass, my grandfather and I would capture and mount butterflies, comb the beach for interesting rocks and water-worn glass, or collect flowers and leaves and carefully press them between the pages of books.
Cabinet of Curiosities is an homage to my grandfather that draws parallels between my childhood pastimes and subsequent career as an archaeologist. Using macro photography, I examine some of the many rocks, feathers, and bones I have collected over the years while out in the field. Many of these mementos are subject to further scrutiny through the very prisms, magnifying glasses, and microscope I have had since I was a young girl, while other images study these tools of looking as objects in and of themselves. Together, the resulting body of work forms a personal archaeology, comprising multiple layers of information that explore the complexities of visual perception as influenced by the evidentiary quality of photographs and the elusiveness of memory.
Silver gelatin prints