In the current climate crisis, it is reassuring to assume that there is a paradise out there. Collectively we have attempted to recreate paradise through introduced planting, man-made structures and the importation of animals into new ecosystems. However, through this practice, we have exhausted what is left of our naturally existing Eden.
This project engages with many photographic techniques to explore human intervention in our delicate ecosystem. Each element used in ‘The River Went out of Eden’ refers back to the natural world and its historic representations of landscape and botany. There are two approaches to cyanotypes in this book, conceptually they are both employed for the same reasons; it is the content which divides them. There is a tangibility found in the experience of the cyanotypes; the method itself provides simplicity and clarity. It exposes the imperfections of nature. The photographs within frames depict weeds invading utopia. Weeds by their definition have negative effects on the ecosystems where they have been introduced. Invasive in their habits, they can be compared to humans.
The second use of cyanotype investigates the information that is feed to us concerning the tree of knowledge and the use of plants throughout the Bible. There is a respect for the land and plants which is consistent throughout the Bible, that unfortunately has not translated to our current relationship with the earth. Apple, Fig and Pomegranate are all possible specimens of the tree of knowledge. It is suggested that through the translation of Latin language that the ‘image’ of the apple has stuck; Malus being the word for both apple and evil. However, a more appropriate candidate considering the climate and age of the Bible, is the Fig or Pomegranate. The unobtainable notion of paradise is something of a human preoccupation in relation to the misinterpretation of information regarding to the stability of all things.