Patterns in Nature

Paula Pink
February 10, 2023
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I am particularly fascinated by the rhythms and patterns found in the natural world – the venation patterns in a leaf; ripples in water; the crystalline structures found in ice and salts, and how these intimate details can be captured onto the photographic emulsion. Using historical photographic processes in experimental ways often connects me back to nature itself and my own impact on and relationship with the environment. My ongoing watergram series “Patterns in Nature” was inspired by the ever-changing, enduring nature of water in all its vibrant, enigmatic forms: rock pools at twilight; stormy, raging oceans; cascading waterfalls over craggy rocks; the moon’s reflection at low tide; sun-kissed ripples pooling over a mirror-lake. Together with microscopic details in the structure of the liquid itself, these patterns celebrate the inherent beauty of water in its natural surroundings, defined momentarily through the consciousness of the observer. Each image begins in the darkroom without a camera or lens, capturing light passing through moving water onto silver gelatin paper. The print is developed using photographic chemicals, and then recaptured using a 400MP Hasselblad with studio lighting to illuminate unique and intricate forms and shapes. The images are intended to be both abstract and yet highly descriptive of the world around us, shining a light on the transcendent simplicity of nature.

Paula Pink is a British-born experimental photographer currently living in the USA. Originally trained as a graphic designer, she has, more recently, been exploring historical and alternative photographic processes alongside contemporary printing methods. Much of her work is made without a camera or lens, using organic and inorganic liquids and objects on film and silver gelatin. Particularly fascinated by the rhythms and patterns found in nature, her images aim to provoke an emotional response, challenging the viewer to look more closely and pay homage to the fragility and beauty that surrounds us. Paula has exhibited both nationally and internationally, most recently in the 2022 Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition and 3rd Barcelona Foto Biennale. She has won several awards and nominations in the alternative process category, including the JM Cameron Awards, IPA, and Pollux Awards.
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