Biomyths (2021-2022)

Digital photographic images. Milk, paint, water, food, and found objects.

In 2020 I was introduced to the work of writer, poet and activist Audre Lorde and her concept of biomythography which is, in literary terms, a style of composition that weaves myth, history, and biography into a narrative and highlights the idea of internal, external, and multiple selves (1). This awareness is particularly strong in people of mixed-heritage or migratory backgrounds, who frequently experience this kind of alternate narrative at the point where their cross cultural experiences meet and combine. I liken it in myself to an interzone, an in-between space. So, biomythography became a major influence on my thinking around my photographic practice. However, I felt I had to ground this inner space in something real and almost mundane. Milk suggested itself as an overarching medium that could be used  physically and yet was symbolic at the same time. It spoke of maternity and perhaps nurturing motherlands. 

The work was created specifically to incorporate the passage of time and elements of chance by filling baths with milk, paint and water, adding found objects, food, and artefacts and then stirring the 'mixture'. The images were then made as the items journeyed through the liquid using slow shutter speeds. It struck me that the items were seeking points of arrival and stillness, but never quite reaching them. Afterwards, I made adjustments to the luminosity and colour of some of the work to create inverted versions to push the sensation of a mirrored experience.

1 Christion & Wimbley 2019, Biomythography, Cerritos College, https://www.cerritos.edu/farbazaar/collectives_Biomythography.htm

All images © James Bellorini 2022
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