When I first spotted the pink-glow emanating from the Westland agricultural estate (NL), I thought of a supernatural force. I was not far from it; it was the horizon of technological growth where the synthetic sunlight kept the plants growing through the night differently than the orange sodium predecessors did. This pink type of LED-lighting is used in greenhouses to maximise food production. Red is the most efficient colour for stimulating growth. In addition, the plant needs a small amount of blue light to control the shape in which the crop grows. The mixing of these two colours produces pink.
In the light of Lepidium explores the supernatural pink colour through a range of photographic techniques. The work encapsulates the light used for optimised food production and researches the relationship between the natural and artificial, and reflects on ecological growth versus economic profit.
The first outcome is a site-specific installation presented in the Backlight photo festival in Tampere, Finland. In summertime the sun does not set at all from May to August. I used this natural occurrence to introduce a multi-sensory experience in which garden cress (Lepidium) grows under the continuous Finish sunlight. Similar as crops grow in greenhouses where artificial light is being used to keep the plants growing through the night. The installation consists of a natural lightbox image, pedestal with a sprouting dish, and an anthotype chlorophyll pigment print of garden cress produced with the pink growing LEDs.
In the light of Lepidium stimulate the eye’s appetite as well as the palate of taste and smell. The growing experience of garden cress can be followed all the way through vision, taste, and smell.