S. Malandra-Myers "Growth Series I"
silver gelatin print
silver gelatin photogram 1
1" x 14" (16" x 20" framed)
"With this series, I will be monitoring the growth of some of my more visually impactful plants, like in this print of my monstera deliciosa, as I track my own growth as an artist and academic. More than taking a photograph, the act of creating a photogram in a darkroom is a process that brings me closer to my plants, in that I can see almost skeletons of their forms. Stripping their greens away directs the focus visually on their shape and composition, and by removing the camera, I can highlight the true size of my plant. With all of this removal of exterior, I am documenting the essence of my plants and ultimately myself."
From a young age nature has been one of the most important factors of my self care. As a child, growing up at the beach, water was a healing aspect of my life. Having access to miles of coastal environs to explore meant giving myself a place to disappear for a while, to re-energize. Running away to summer camp as a young teen gave me the space to continue that kind of nature-driven care, but moving to Philadelphia for college meant a lack of access to what had always made me feel whole. My summers would mirror my craving for escape into nature, with choices like being a studio assistant at Peters Valley, studying in Cape Town, South Africa, and going back to summer camp to work as a counselor and an administrator. As my life continues to move forward along with my education, I unfortunately can not escape into comfortable bubbles of nature and I have had to alter the kind of nature I rely upon for self care. Something I learned from countless lasting words of advice from visiting artists from my summer as a studio assistant was that I need to create a world around me that will support my practice, which will in turn support me as a whole, and I have done just that. I have turned to beginning my own slice of heaven, and there is now a small urban jungle in my apartment.S. Malandra-Myers, Wildwoodcrest, NJ
Since completing their studio assistant summer at Peters Valley School of Craft in 2016, Sam Malandra-Myers has studied internationally at the Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa, graduated with a BFA in photography from the University of the Arts, worked as a summer camp counselor and administrative Waterfront Director at Camp Dark Waters, and began their graduate education as a masters candidate in art history at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Presently, S. Malandra-Myers is finishing their last semester of coursework for their masters and planning a research trip back to South Africa. There, they will lay the research groundwork for their thesis that will focus on knowledge production as connected to the cultural production of the 1982 Culture and Resistance Conference of Gaborone, Botswana, and the Fallist movements at the University of Cape Town circa 2015-2017. Outside of school, Malandra-Myers is currently a barista and childcare provider.
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