All contents Christian Tuempling, 1991-2014

Botanica Statement



I have come to see nature as a curiosity.

Confined to the city most of my life, my knowledge of the natural world has been shaped by exhibitions at various institutions: giraffes in a painted landscape cage at the Bronx Zoo, replicas of natural aquatic habitat life at the New York Aquarium, swamp ferns in a steaming glass house at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, documentaries on PBS and even weekend outings to the upstate countryside. I learned what I know of the natural world from a position of safety.

I have never depended (directly) on nature to grow food. For example, since local garlic is now out of season and not available at the Grand Army Plaza farmer's market, I rely on my grocery store's garlic, imported from Argentina. My walk to the store to pick up this natural product becomes an unnatural exercise in inhaling fumes and soot.

Nature, as I know it, doesn't correlate with the nature depicted in glossy magazines. At best, news of the planet reaches me as a frightening headline or as an alarming sound bite that seems out of context with the world at large. So, to me, the natural world has become an abstraction.

As the sun turns the golden morning into noon floods, I find myself captivated by my 20-year-old avocado plant. This majestic plant that grew out of a pit dissects the sun each time the clouds give way. This display of light and shadows captures my curiosity and forms an imagined world where plants live on as photographs abstracted from the world around us.

gelatin silver print, darkroom, traditional photography

Christian Tuempling Photography

1 (718) 789 6905

Bookmark and Share