River Almanac

As I’ve spent time closely following the River Lark during lockdown I’ve become more aware of the plants of the riparian zone. I’ve experimented with making inks myself but as lockdown eases I have the opportunity to attend a workshop with Caroline Wendling at Wysing Arts making natural pigments. In the following week I follow this up with online workshop with Melanie King learning the anthotype, plant based photography, process.

Much of the work of the Bury Water Meadows Group involves managing riparian and in-river plant growth. I want to explore the materiality and processes of the local river so as a starting point I decide to start an almanac that records the monthly tasks of the river volunteers. I will photograph these tasks and expose them using plant based emulsion gathered from the work site.
I make a start in September by photographing the scything process, volunteers have recently trained in this method of wild flower meadow management.

I make a negative of a photograph and expose it onto a nettle emulsion. This exposes in around 6 hours. I may have to be more patient in the coming months.