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School of Politics and International Relations

Taking Photos with Plants - It's Chemistry!

When: Monday, November 13, 2023, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where: Blomeley Room 2 & Mile End Canal, Mile End Campus

Join the founder of The Sustainable Darkroom, Hannah Fletcher, for a free workshop creating phytogram prints using medicinal plants growing along the banks of the Mile End canal.

You will learn about the work of The Sustainable Darkroom, historical photographic processes, and their environmental impacts and legacies; explore Queen Mary’s medicinal vegetal residents; and practice a new form of plant-based photography called phytograms.

Phytograms are a type of photographic image-making made without the use of a camera. They rely on the internal chemistry of plants and reactions with silver gelatine analogue photographic paper to make visible chemical traces and marks on the light sensitive surface. 

About Sustainable Darkroom: The Sustainable Darkroom is an artist-run research, training and mutual learning programme. It aims to help equip cultural practitioners with new skills and knowledge to develop environmentally friendly photographic darkroom practices. Though linked to physical spaces and places, The Sustainable Darkroom is not defined by a location on the map, we have no walls, sinks or red lights. But, we are an ethos, a way of thinking and of understanding. We are an uprising; a radical reformation. Taking form in publications, residencies, workshops, talks, symposiums, training sessions, gardens and more. We intend to help build a community to empower each other, and challenge some of the environmental impacts of darkroom practices. Founded by Hannah Fletcher 2019, The Sustainable Darkroom is now run by Hannah Fletcher, Alice Cazenave and Edd Carr. The Sustainable Darkroom was born out of a need for collective community action and out of a desire to ignite change. 

About Hannah Fletcher: Hannah Fletcher is an artist, working with cameraless photographic processes, founder of The Sustainable Darkroom, Co-director of London Alternative Photography Collective and a facilitator of sustainability within the arts. Fletcher works with and researches the many intricate relationships between photographic and not-so photographic materials. Intertwining organic matter such as soils, algae, mushrooms and roots into photographic mediums and surfaces. She questions the life cycle and value of materials by incorporating waste from her studio and workshops back into the system of making. Working in an investigative, ritualistic and environmentally conscious manner, Fletcher combines scientific techniques with photographic processes, creating dialogue and fusions between the poetic and political.

This event is sponsored by QMSU and Dr Giulia Carabelli as part of the Environmental Futures programme.

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