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Jimmy Fike

Artist Statement Submitted 2016

In 2008, I embarked on an epic quest to create a continent spanning collection of images showcasing the rich assortment of wild edible plants found in the USA. After nine years of dedicated work, I’ve created an archive of over one hundred plants from seven different states (including Alabama and this August I have a residency at the Bernheim in Kentucky). In my system the plant is excavated, carefully pinned up on a white back drop, photographed, then meticulously digitally illustrated in such a way as to render the edible parts in color while the remaining parts read as contact prints.

I prefer mounting exhibitions that feature plants found within that same biome. My place-based approach to photography signals a promising shift in configuring the medium’s relation to subject, audience and site. I’m creating images that not only have a concrete, practical function (free food!), but also are meditative symbols in a uniquely charged space connecting art, science and spirituality.

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