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Ansel Oommen

Chitin & Furanocoumarin



Artist Statement:

I first encountered cyanotypes as an undergrad tinkering around in the botany lab of Dianella Howarth, PhD. In May of 2014, I graduated, walking away with a B.S. in Toxicology and 13 prints I considered more as preliminary research than artwork. In 2016, I returned to school and revisited the blueprint, particularly invigorated by a summer field internship with the Nature Conservancy. This print immortalizes the ephemera of gravid dill umbels, feathery bald cypress, and dancing cicada wings through the chemical magic of iron salts. Each element was gathered from public spaces throughout four boroughs, including Brooklyn. As a clinical laboratory scientist-in-training, I have been leveraging my technical background to develop a new combination cyanotype process and this piece from my 2016 collection captures a “back to basics” nostalgia.


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