home  work   journal   contact

Flotsam (or the lands of milk and...?)

Digital photographic image transparencies on lightboxes.
Various dimensions.

With this series I examine notions of sanctuary and safety, and the fragility of what these mean in an age when we are traversing an age of social and climatic anxiety. The work came out of research into the science and history of migration in both people and animals - and how these are driven acts of necessity and immense courage, without any predetermined outcome of haven at the end of them. 

I found the idea of milk and it’s association as a nurturing, ‘safe’ and motherly symbol to be relevant, and used it directly in the image-making process. I immersed flotsam found on local beaches and other materials such as toys, leaf matter, cloth, and spices into baths of milk. And then drew patterns based on migratory pathways into the mix, photographing the items as they moved. The resulting images were deliberately inverted in post-processing with the idea that they would be large-scale works mounted on lightboxes to illuminate them from ‘within’. In some cases, as the milk drained away at the end of each shoot, chance elements were revealed and incorporated into the series.


© James Bellorini