Research on Amphibians Inspires Unique Photography
Brandon Ballengée “Vertical Fall in the Winter call that dances in the spring nocturnal…” From the series “A Season in Hell Series; Deadly Born Cry” by Brandon Ballengée with versified titles forming a poem by KuyDelair In scientific collaboration with Stanley K. Sessions 2010/12, Unique digital Chromogenic prints 163 cm by 142 cm/ 64 inches by 56 inches Courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Art, New York
By Stephanie Dar
The "WASTE LAND" exhibit at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming showcases photographs taken by the biologist and artist Brandon Ballengée. The pieces on display are inspired by Ballengée’s research regarding deformities in amphibians, fish, and birds; in fact, many of the photographs are of actual research specimens.
Brandon Ballengee DFB 42, Êléktra Ozomène Scanner Photograph of Cleared and Stained Multi-limbed Pacific Tree frog from Aptos, California in Scientific Collaboration with Dr. Stanley K. Sessions. Title in collaboration with the poet KuyDelair. H 46 inches x W 34 inches 117 cm by 86 cm Unique IRIS print on watercolor paper 2008 Courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York
In the photograph above a colorfully cleared and stained pacific tree frog is shown against a stark white backdrop. At a first glance, the color palette of the image is pleasing to the eye, but upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that the featured amphibian is sporting what appears to be several additional extremities. Ballengée’s collection features several other specimens in a similar fashion.
In the digital chromogenic print above, two young birds are shown, again brightly colored against a white backdrop. The specimens chosen for this collection feature birds that were born with wing deformities or birds that died at a premature age of unknown causes. When describing the collection, Ballengée referenced the book by Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, to call attention to the decline in the avian population, which in turn, leads to quieter spring time seasons as there are fewer songbirds.
The "WASTE LAND" collection by Ballengée combines both art and science to draw the viewer’s attention to the larger impacts of human influence and activity on the earth, and the unintended consequences of human actions on the inhabitants with whom we share our planet. Exhibit visitors will have a chance to see these impacts firsthand in a unique and almost haunting manner.
Learn more about this exhibit and how to visit HERE.