Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Pea, 2009 Photograph © Dornith Doherty/ All rights reserved

Caper, 2009 Photograph © Dornith Doherty/ All rights reserved

Banana Clone, 2009 Photograph © Dornith Doherty/ All rights reserved

In an era of diminishing agricultural diversity, increasing extinction of natural species, commodification of genetic resources and accelerating climate change...my concerns include philosophical, anthropological, and ecological issues surrounding the role of science, technology, and human agency in the context of seed banks - Dornith Doherty

+ + +

DORNITH DOHERTY's photographs have been featured in over 65 national and international exhibitions, and are included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. A recipient of 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 received a BA cum laude in Spanish and French language and literature at Rice University, and an MFA in Photography from Yale University. She is currently a Professor of Photography at the University of North Texas.

Archiving Eden is a photographic project that takes tiny forms of life - seeds - as its most basic subject. The x-ray photographs incorporated in Archiving Eden were made at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, a USDA Agricultural Research Service facility located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The mission of this national seed bank is 'to effectively document, preserve, and maintain viable seed and propagules of diverse plant germplasm' in long-term storage. The Fort Collins facility, one of the largest seed banks in the world, has approximately five hundred thousand types of seeds stored in a 5,000 square foot vault at 0º Fahrenheit (-18C). Cloned plant material is stored in cryogenic deep-freeze tanks filled with liquid nitrogen in the same building and the archive is complemented with an active and on-going research program focused on seed biology.

"Using the on-site compact x-ray equipment employed for viability research on accessioned seeds, I've photographed and aggregated (collaged) images of tissue samples from germination tests and vegetatively propagated (cloned) plants to evoke the tension between storage and dispersal, and reproduction and extinction."
Dornith was one of 100 photographers invited to participate in Review Santa Fe 2009.

Dornith Doherty Website
McMurtrey Gallery • Houston

No comments:

Post a Comment