The Rambunctious Garden
Rambunctious Garden is a continuation of James Farley’s post-PhD research into post-photography, ecological thinking, and the practice of ecological stewardship.
Post-photography is a moment defined by the current permutation of photography’s crisis of meaning; stemming from the over-saturation of images, changing image technologies, and the ceaseless creation, dissemination, and interpretation of visual data. Expanded notions of photography in the post-photographic moment often mirror the expanded notions of time, space, self, and species in ecological thinking. Rambunctious Garden addresses both notions through photographic practice.
Using the generative processes of anthotype and lumen printing, Rambunctious Garden considers the myriad ways that all life is entangled and governed by the rules of reciprocity, while also addressing the unresolved tension of maintaining an ecologically aware arts practice in the Anthropocene. Consisting of large-scale lumen prints, a sequence of unfixed anthotypes on recycled paper, and a collection of clay and soil seed bombs, Rambunctious Garden explores the notion of reciprocity in multiple forms.
While the lumen prints embody reciprocity and exchange through photographic and haptic terms, the sunflower series and seed bombs take a more transient approach. Using the pulped papers and test prints associated with his PhD studies, the artist created the paper, which was then enriched with seeds, and treated with a plant-based photo emulsion. The seeds, leaves, and flowers used in this process were harvested (in collaboration with local cockatoos) from a sunflower patch located in Wagga Wagga, NSW. These objects are alive with the possibility of being returned to the earth.
The artist encourages you to take a seed bomb and plant (or throw) it, to participate in this ongoing process of exchange. At the end of the exhibition, the sunflower prints will also be distributed and can be returned to the garden to grow another season of sunflowers.
James Farley is an artist and curator based in Wagga Wagga, NSW. His practice employs post-photographic methodologies in an ongoing process of developing and testing positive and inclusive ways of engaging audiences with ecological thinking and the challenges of practicing ecological stewardship. James is a lecturer in photography at Charles Sturt University, a Gallery Technician at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, and the former Studio Supervisor at The Art Factory (a supported studio in Wagga Wagga).