Where the Light Enters
by Cecilia A. Montalvo & Charles A. McCullers

project STATEMENT

Where the Light Enters tells the story of a complex and beautiful system which is under threat. These wet plate photographs convey a sense of the dynamism of South Florida’s barrier islands, but also their fragility.

Life is everywhere, on every scale, if we open our eyes to seeing it. Water, land, and light exist in wild and unexpected combinations. Each part of the system is dependent on the other parts.

We can stop and reverse global warming. It’s time to harness our abilities—use science to reintegrate ourselves with nature. Paradoxically, the richest and most meaningful expression of our human experience is in being part of the system.

An essential element of this work is the fragile photographic process. The chemical emulsion of wet plate collodion is sensitive—to temperature, vibration, and the vagaries of our outdoor darkroom tent—and as such it is the process-manifestation of the meaning of the work.

We seek to approach the mystery of the natural system through relinquishment—not taking an image from it, but receiving what it creates. This work offers a glimpse of the magical system itself—depicting, and at the same time being an instance of, living chemistry.

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