Artist in Residence, Woodland Cemetary

During the residency, I wanted to explore photography's role in harnessing memory by using the Anthotype process to draw on the site's past & present botanical contexts."

In 2018, I was selected by Philadelphia Artist Collective as the Artist in Residence at the historic Woodland Cemetery – a 54-acre cemetery in West Philadelphia that began as a botanical garden in the 18th century. I started the project by creating cyanotype field studies to describe the site's diverse ecology and began developing a body of Anthotypes using plant pigments from flower petals, berries, weeds, and nuts found in and around the cemetery. At the conclusion of the residency the artworks, entitled The Island That Likes To Be Visited, were exhibited on-site alongside performances of the play Mary Rose by J.M Barrie.

*An anthotype is a print created by exposing plant pigments to sunlight. To produce an anthotype, a photographic positive or object is placed on top of paper saturated with plant dye and laid in the sun. With time, sunlight bleaches away any areas on the paper that are'nt concealed. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. Over time an anthotype will continue to fade until no image is present. 

During the exhibition, three completed works and three works in the process of being developed were shown together in the sites' historic mansion. This juxtaposition created the ability to observe the constant cycle of growth and decay as each print became anew each day. Through this ephemeral process, visitors could experience the tensions between time, memory, and loss as each artwork receded further from sight, and the ability to reconstruct them became intangible. 

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

Ryan Strand Greenberg
Britney Ruud
Jessica Baumert, Robin Rick, Emma Max
Philadelphia Artist Collective
Damon Bonetti, Kristin Phaneuf, Claire Moyer
Additional Support
University of Pennsylvania, Paul Farber, Kaitlin Pomerantz, Matt Fisher, J.M Barrie, Sydney Hernandez
Philadelphia Artists Collective