Ryan Strand Greenberg


Anthotypes (In Progress)

An Anthotype is a botanical art process that I use to explore the intersection of art, ecology, and history. 

An Anthotype is a print that is created by exposing plant pigments to sunlight. To produce an anthotype, a photographic positive, or object, is placed on top of naturally dyed paper and then laid in the sun. With time, sunlight bleaches away any areas on the paper that are not concealed. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. This entropy of this process is inevitable; these anthotypes once completely exposed, continue to fade from the very light that allows them to be seen until no image is present. Through this ephemeral process, I am interested in exploring the stories that can be revealed about a place through it’s ecology. 

In August 2018 I participated in Philadelphia Artist Collective’s Artist in Residence Program to create The Island That Likes To Be Visited. During my residency I created a body of Anthotypes using plant pigments from flower petals, berries, weeds, and nuts found in and around The Woodlands Cemetery.

The Island That Likes To Be Visited was exhibited during the month of September inside the historic Woodland Mansion. In the exhibition, three completed prints and three prints in the process of exposure were shown together in order to witness, simultaneously, the constant cycle of growth and decay as each print becomes anew each day. Through a dialogue between the cemetery, plants, and artwork this body of work investigates the tensions between time, memory, and loss.

* Pokeberry, goldenrod, crepe myrtle, and black walnut were harvested, and their pigments used for the prints in the exhibition.