March 6—April 11, 2010
Dornith Doherty at Mid-Career: Photographs 2007—2010
Corn Diversity, from the
series Archiving Eden, 2010
74 x 42 inches
Galveston Arts Center is pleased to present Dornith Doherty at Mid-Career, featuring selections from the Altered Terrain and Archiving Eden series by artist Dornith Doherty, in conjunction with Houston’s FotoFest 2010 Biennial. Following the presentation in Galveston, the exhibition will be on view at the Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University in Waco. A full-color exhibition catalogue featuring work from both series is available for purchase.
Alfalfa, from the series
Archiving Eden, 2010
60 x 47 inches
Curated by Clint Willour, the carefully distilled selection of work includes photographs from Doherty’s decade-long exploration of culturally reconfigured landscapes titled Altered Terrain. Using specimens and found objects collected on site, Doherty arranges a carefully constructed still-life tableau, projects other imagery onto it, and then photographs the assemblage with a view camera. Her multi-layered compositions speak volumes about the natural world and humanity’s stewardship of it, while also commenting on critical issues affecting the contemporary landscape. “I am fascinated by systems in which knowledge of past times and distant places is transmitted by capturing, transporting, and displaying diverse visual evidence, be it natural history specimens or expeditionary photographs,” writes the artist. The resulting landscape photographs in this series refer “to an environment being transfigured by a host of critical issues.”
Cumulus, from the series
Altered Terrain, 2007
Color Photograph (Lambda)
44 x 64 inches
For the series Archiving Eden, Doherty explores the role of seed banks and their preservation efforts in the face of climate change, the extinction of natural species and decreased agricultural diversity. Working at both the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado, and at the Millennium Seed Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens—Kew, Wakehurst Place in Sussex, England, Doherty used on-site x-ray equipment to photograph seeds and cloned plants from the facilities’ extensive storage vaults. The archival pigment prints include seed and plant x-rays arranged into mandala shapes, as well as organic designs that evoke tension between storage and dispersal, and reproduction and extinction. The digital chromogenic lenticular prints include collaged x-ray images of seeds in blue, green, and brown backgrounds that shift in color and shape (hologram-like) as the viewer moves past. This work questions the complex philosophical, anthropological, and ecological issues surrounding the role of science, technology, and human agency in the context of seed banks.
Dornith Doherty was born in Houston and received a B.A. from Rice University and an MFA in Photography from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. She currently teaches photography at the University of North Texas in Denton. She has received grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the United States Department of the Interior, the Indiana Arts Commission, and the Society for Contemporary Photography. Doherty was awarded the inaugural fellowship from the University of North Texas’ Institute for the Advancement of the Arts, recognizing artistic contributions by outstanding faculty members. The fellowship and grant will support the artist’s continued work on the Archiving Eden series during spring 2010.
Dornith Doherty is represented by:
Holly Johnson Gallery and McMurtrey Gallery