Inspired by Theophrastus's Historia Plantarum, Enquiry into Luminous Botany consists of a collection of simulated journal pages portraying plants in their most luminous state. Unlike Historia Plantarum though, this body of work focuses more on plants' artistic rather than scientific attributes. Each image is a diptych. The left shows a lumen print made on expired black & white photo paper and the right is a diagrammatic representation of the plant used to produce the lumen print. Both left and right images are printed on Kozo (Mulberry) paper and juxtaposed before being framed.
Lumen prints are one-of-a-kind photographic images created without the use of a camera. The process involves layering objects, usually plants, directly on natural fiber black and white photographic paper, which is then exposed to UV light, such as the Sun. Any area on the paper not covered by objects gets darker under the sunlight while the other areas will have a gradient of luminosity depending on the distance of parts of the objects to the paper. The paper is then developed in a traditional darkroom. Any color in the final print is the result of chemical reactions on the paper. After an optional toning, the process is usually finished. I go one step further though. I photograph the lumen prints and bring them to the computer where I apply additional cinematic effects and collage them with additional images of the botanicals used.