Dianne Bos

Dianne Bos- Herbarium Photo(synthesis)

October 17th - November 3rd, 2024

Opening Reception: October 17th 5pm - 7pm

An herbarium is a collection of dried plant specimens used for scientific study. In this new series of work, Bos turns her own herbarium into a photo album by using sunlight to create images on plants. The resulting chlorophyll prints are made using the chemistry that is naturally at work in a living plant. It is the ultimate sustainable photographic process.

Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct. Most leaves when removed from a plant and exposed to sunlight eventually lose their natural colouring. If a leaf is removed from light and pressed into a book it will retain some of its original colour despite drying out. Similarly, if a stencil or film transparency is pressed onto a leaf and it is exposed to sunlight for several hours the chlorophyll will remain green in the unexposed areas while the rest of the leaf bleaches out producing different tones.

The images Bos has selected to print ‘into’ the leaves reflect the many worlds that plants sustain, while also hinting there may be sci-fi elements at play. These images are just as fragile and ephemeral as specific life-forms may be when faced with abrupt ecosystem change.

The work has been part of the exhibition “Redesigning Paradise” (January 20, 2023 – March 26, 2023) at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Alberta that also included Mary Anne Barkhouse, Sarah Fuller, and Penelope Stewart. One of the Les Plantes Feuilles (Chlorophyll Leaf) images was selected for the SPAO photo walk in Ottawa. It will be on display for 5 years between 2024 – 2028.