Barcode Wales: Beyond The Visible

Liggins, Andrea (2012) Barcode Wales: Beyond The Visible. Wales Institute of Research in Art & Design.

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Barcode Wales: Beyond the Visible was a series of fifty-two large-scale photographic prints produced at the invitation of the Welsh Assembly Government as part of its larger Barcode Wales project. The objective of the project was to DNA barcode all of Wales’s native flowering plants, with a view to expanding research into biodiversity conservation and human health. Liggins was invited to join the project by the Welsh Government to produce imagery that would raise awareness and appreciation of the volume and diversity of Wales’s native plants. Rather than opt for an overly literal borrowing of DNA imaging technology, Liggins recognized that her ongoing interest in a baroque photographic aesthetic would lend itself to the project on account of its promotion of disruption, opacity and disorder. This was on the understanding that, in contrast to an overtly representational view that offers pin-sharp detail sufficient for identification and information, compositions that used disruption, opacity and disorder would encourage a sense of closeness. This would be not so much in literal, spatial terms but more through making the plants feel part of the viewer’s experience. With the overlooked landscapes of waste-ground, grassland and hedgerow as subject matter, the Beyond the Visible photographs explored relationships between camera placement (the camera set in the floral cluster, making viewfinder confirmation impossible), camera settings and composition to produce semi-abstract images that offered a more immersive experience. The exhibition premiered at the Nanshan Botanical Gardens, China, 2012, where a parallel DNA extraction project is currently running. The exhibition, its catalogue, and Liggins’s involvement in the project were fully funded by the Welsh Government and the Nanshan Botanical Gardens. The exhibition subsequently appeared at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, later in 2012.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: Citation: Liggins, A., Barcode Wales: Beyond The Visible.
Uncontrolled Keywords: photography, botany, public engagement, plant conservation
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Q Science > QK Botany
T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Wales Institute for Science & Art (WISA) > Academic Discipline: Art & Media
Related URLs:
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2013 14:45
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2023 16:36

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