Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants, with which leafs absorb the energy of sunlight and turn it into the energy of chemical bonds of organic compounds. This process is called photosynthesis, and it directly or indirectly supports almost all life on Earth. Photosynthesis starts when photons emitted by the sun enters specific pigment molecules — chlorophyll contained in the membranes of the chloroplast cell organelles, ones that color the leaf into a green. It is chlorophyll in the process of photosynthesis that chemically reacts to the sunlight. Photosensitivity is the ability of a substance to change its chemical or physical properties under the sunlight exposure. Photography is also closely related to the concept of photosensitivity. Kliment Timiryazev first began to experiment with the photosynthesis and he realised that the light is absorbed through the grains of chlorophyll. Timiryazev named his own method of research “The photographic self-registration of the chlorophyll function on a living plant”.
The possibility of using chlorophyll in photography has become the topic of my research. After numerous experiments with different plants I’ve discovered a photosensitive emulsion, with the help of which printing is carried out. This is an alcoholic extract of chlorophyll from the ficus leaves.
Chlorophyll and the process of photosynthesis is the cause why prints acquire a light green color. The emulsion does not contain silver salts and other nonbiological chemical elements, therefore, it is not possible to fix the image: over time, the color fades and then disappears completely. Artificial flowers are placed on emulsified paper and illuminated by an ultraviolet lamp. They develop and come to life from dead through the process of photosynthesis, which in turn plays a leading role in the biosphere processes, globally forming an organic matter from inorganic. Transformation of the living into the dead in order to represent life in new specific dimension.
Watercolor paper, chlorophyll print, 70x100cm.