Two Rooms is pleased to present a new iteration of LA Botanical by Joyce Campbell in Aotearoa, which will also include a new artist edition of the eponymous publication. Originally exhibited at G727 Los Angeles in 2007 while Campbell was residing there, LA Botanical continues to resonate with audiences concerned with disrupted ecologies.
LA Botanical is a series of ambrotype portraits of plant species introduced to California – which now grow wild and alienated from their original purposes. Her choice to use the wet plate ambrotype process is informed by an eco-logic. The ambrotype was invented the same year that Los Angeles was incorporated as a city. The exhibition comprises six new large-scale handprinted photographic enlargements from ambrotype negatives, and a selection of the original ambrotype contact prints from 2005. They are dramatic, beautiful and ghostly all at once.
Campbell’s publication has a renewed relevance. Tessa Laird, in her essay calls this book “a poisoner’s handbook, a herbalist’s cure-all, a shaman’s bundle, a gardener’s guide, a botanist’s field manual, an artist’s scrapbook” It can be all these things. It is multidisciplinary in its scope, but it exists primarily as an art work.