JEREMY BLAIR | STATEMENT
I investigate the intersections of place and self by developing cameraless photograms that transform found organic materials into personal narratives. I create photograms outside in rural settings in a custom-designed light-proof darkroom tent. I begin each photogram by arranging found items directly onto a piece of photosensitive silver paper, creating the initial composition. Next, I expose the paper with quick flashes of light from a small flashlight, changing the composition with each exposure. Lastly, I soak the paper sequentially in three separate eco-friendly chemicals - Developer, Stop, and Fixer. The Developer reacts with the silver paper to produce the initial image. The Stop blocks the Developer from working, and the Fixer stabilizes all chemical reactions. Finally, I soak the print in an Epsom salt bath for cleansing. Developing photograms on-site forces me to embrace variables that add unique effects to each photogram, like fluctuations in humidity and temperature, water quality, and leaking sunlight. Through this process, I draw, collage, and paint with light, discovering patterns in nature that inform patterns in myself. Each work I create becomes a portal to places I’ve been and crystalizes the people and materials I’ve encountered. Ultimately, I observe vital ecologies in nature and document experiences through light and chemistry, leading to an intimate connection with place, material, and self.