flora and fauna
When I first showed one of these images to my grandfather he was confused. We later worked it out that he thought I was a bear behind a tree. He spent much of his life as a lumberjack, so I suppose it's fair that he would see a bear before recognizing his own kin.
And while taking these pictures I often feel like a strange beast of the forest, until I catch someone watching me, then I just feel stupid. It's hard not to be humiliated when caught crouching in a flowerbed taking Polaroids of your face.
Embarrassment does not dissuade me. I have been photographing this series for four years, and every time I think it's done I see some irresistible plant and I'm back in the dirt. Perhaps by taking these pictures I'm indulging my tendency toward vanity (nature makes me prettier). Or, it could have something to do with trouncing the pollen that kept me indoors as a child. Either way, what keeps me behind the flora is a simple formula:
sx-70 camera + expired film + my face + plant = strangeness and beauty
It's impossible to know what you will get with a Polaroid full of old film shot blindly. Until two minutes later, then you do. There are few things in this world as wondrous to me as watching an image that belonged only in my head appear in my hand, shadows first.
- mandy lamb, 2007
Click on each image for larger version and caption.