My work articulates humankind's capacity to decay as a marker of our identity. Set in the swamps and woods of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, natural places where one encounters life and death, growth and decay, the series chronicles the intimate relationship of a feral woman and her surrounding nonhuman environment. The woman collects the bones, branches, and flora and treads with the animals, both dead and living. Recognizing the deaths of other creatures, this woman observes in death, she, too, will be repurposed and consumed by the earth.
The cyanotype process shifts focus from potentially colorful landscapes and figures to patterns, textures, and the relationships of forms within the images. Tea-staining the prints dulls the blue and adds warmth. Printing on Japanese Kitakata paper, which is prone to ripping, tearing, and wrinkling, reflects the deterioration of nature and gives the prints a feeling of fragility. Untamed ultimately reflects upon the forms, the impermanence, and the interconnectedness of natural life.
“Here was the body colliding with the landscape, balanced on that knife-edge between ruin and transcendence. Here was a South that was at once half hallucinatory and unyieldingly embodied, simultaneously haunted and inhabited. Here was the closely circumscribed world wrenching at its own boundaries: the sky tangled up with the ground, the psyche whittled onto flesh and bone.”
-Molly McCully Brown, poet, on UNTAMED series