How to render light? This is a series of Onion skin Anthotypes exposed to sunlight on a rooftop in Qatar for about 3 month’s each.

I became captivated with Piranesi’s engravings of architectural fireplaces because of the way the rendered fire, an ephemeral and constantly moving light source, using only line. I isolated the fires from the fireplaces (a few examples below) and enlarged them to 18 x 24.”

After coating my paper with layers of boiled onion skin water, I laid the fire negative onto the coated paper, sandwiched under glass and left them to expose on the rooftop.

Piranesi’s fireplaces are all about symmetry and lavish ornamentation. The viewer is not supposed to be looking at the fire when there is beauty and order surrounding it. When the fires are removed from the context of a fireplace, I found that they take on a more ominous tone, evoking the potential danger that fire, or even an explosion, can wreak when it is not controlled.

Simultaneous to making these works, I was inspired by the optical effects of the desert and the visual distortion of heat waves rising off the earth. Working with the sun as my light source for exposure made a lot of sense for this project, given that the sun and intense heat was ever present.