I created these two images as some of the last in the series. I had gone through my mess-ups and test shoots and everything falling apart with the set and putting it back together. And then, like magic, these two images came together so easily.
When I started the series I had begun collecting dead moths. I would search everywhere – literally – anywhere I went to try and gather them. It was a difficult task that was taking a very long time. Eventually I realized I would not be able to gather enough, and they were each so unique that I didn’t want to shortchange the image by manipulating it later in post. So, I gave up on the image (for now) and I set my sights on another picture.
They may not seem connected, but these two images were what I thought of in place of my grand moth image. The keys satisfied my desire to fill the room with 1,000 moths. Instead I ended up with 4,000 keys. The branches were my ode to nature which was missing from the series thus far and I felt was needed to satiate my natural tendency toward the great outdoors.
The keys were an interesting dilemma. I knew that, over time, I could procure enough keys to make the image happen. What I did not have, however, was the budget for it. At anywhere from $2-5 per key I found, and calculating enough keys to cover the space I was filling, my estimated cost for production would have been about $8,000+ (on the less expensive side!). It wasn’t an option for me. I was already breaking the bank creating this series that I didn’t know if anyone would even care about. I knew I did, but it isn’t always easy to justify an expense if it appears frivolous and self-serving.
I used five keys instead of 4,000. I photographed them in many different positions all around my frame and then edited them together in Photoshop until my computer wanted to lay down and die.
The sticks were much easier and I was very in my element. I went running down the street and began gathering every stick I could find. I brought some from my favorite spot in the forest and others were discarded in piles at people’s houses. Getting them arranged inside the box was difficult, but I made it out with only a few scratches and bruises.
I found these to be some of the simplest in the series not only for the visual component (the sticks) but for how quick the shoots were. They exemplify perhaps one of my greatest joys in the Fourth Wall series, which was combining how I naturally work with where I wanted my photography to go. These were images that felt very natural to me and simple in their thematic planning. After all, I have used sticks and keys extensively. The difference was the application. When I look at them, I can feel the forward progression of my work this past year, and that is priceless.
Very limited editions. Each print is offered at 42×42 inches with an edition of 2, and 8×8 inches with an edition of 3.
Photographed with a Sony a7ii and a 25mm Zeiss lens.
Models: Kyna Lian (keys), self-portrait (nest)
Assistance: Kelly McGrady