Biosphere 2 Artist-In-Residence

Charles Hedgcock

Charles "Chip" Hedgcock has combin­ed his love of the outdoors with more than 30 years of experience photographing in medicine, the life sciences, and fine arts, to create a unique vision of the natural world. He is known for his images that explore nature, and the natural world. Chip worked as a Medical Photographer at the University Medical Center at  the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ, and as a Senior Research Specialist, and chief photographer for the Division of Neurobiology at the University of Arizona. Currently, Chip is a photographer for the University of Arizona's Department of Entomology. For five years, starting in 2009, Chip was the lead photographer for the Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment , a program of the environmental organization The Sky Island Alliance.

Chip is a Black and White fine art photographer, continuing to practice the traditional tools of his trade, processing film and producing archival gelatin silver prints in his darkroom. A few years ago, Chip discovered Lumen Prints. He began experimenting and found it to be an amazing mix of alchemy and serendipity that uses only sunlight and expired photographic paper.

Chip holds a BA degree from Brooks Institute of Photography and is a Registered Biological Photographer as well as a Fellow of the BioCommunications Association. in 2016, he was awarded the BioCommunications Association highest honor when he was selected as a Louis Schmidt Laureate.

To see more of Chip’s work, please visit: www.charleshedgcock.com

Project Statement

For more than 37 years I have been a professional photographer, exploring the biodiversity of the South West and Sonora Mexico. My subject has always been the natural world and my tools have always been cameras; 4x5 view cameras, 35mm film cameras and digital SLRs. Working in the field, alone, or with biologists and activists, collecting images, creating art.

The latest digital technology notwithstanding, I am always drawn back to the darkroom, the process performed by hand, and the traditional tools of my trade; film and archival gelatin silver prints.

A few years ago, adrift on the internet, in that tangential way that the web can get us lost, I discovered lumen prints, an amazing mix of alchemy and serendipity. Lumen prints are an extremely experimental process that uses only sunlight and expired black and white photographic paper. Combining silver gelatin paper, many hours of sunlight, and the juices of herbaceous plants, creates a subtle, negative image in delightful pastel colors. The resulting image is a one of a kind original print of uncommon beauty. 

I have found my invitation to work as Artist-in-Residence at Biosphere 2 to be an exciting opportunity for me to continue to explore the camera-less process of creating botanical lumen prints. My goal is to provide an artistic Interpretation of the diverse and changing plant life within this world renowned facility, showing their distinct beauty in an alternative, yet complementary, way. The title of my project is: "Drawn by the Sun: Botanical Studies in Biosphere 2". This project was made possible by an Artist Research and Development Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.