Shauna Caldwell (she/her) is an artist, educator, and scholar rooted in her hometown of Boone, North Carolina. She uses multimedia and photographic processes to honor land, familial connections, sacred relationships, and transformation. Through her work, she explores collaborative opportunities for the expansion of Appalachian placemaking through the arts and loving community. Caldwell received BFAs in both Studio Art and Art Education and is currently pursuing an MA in Appalachian Studies and an advanced certificate in non-profit administration at Appalachian State University. She has exhibited her work locally, nationally, and internationally and was recently awarded a Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers as part of The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards.
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What was the inspiration behind your artwork?
My connection to place, light, and creative inquiry.
Each photograph in this series is a cyanotype photogram depicting the plant from which the toner was made. These plants carry cultural and personal significance in relation to my home and provide insight into my sense of placemaking.
What do you see as the similarity between science and art? Why is science-art important in today’s society?
For this series, I drew upon my knowledge as an herbalist to identify plants that are high in tannins to create toners for cyanotype photographs-- often the toners are highly processed and significantly removed from place, but I wanted to experiment with place-based materials and found that many of the plants with astringent properties act as a lovely toner. These kinds of creative place-based inquiries are crucial in recognizing the interconnections of our work and the ability to generate solutions.