The Wollemi Kirlians — Experimenta

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David Haines
The Wollemi Kirlians



Kirlian photography is a technique for creating contact prints by electrically charging, ionizing the air around an object, pioneered by Russian electrical engineer Semyon Kirlian and his wife Valentina in the early -twentieth century.  The artist has rebuilt a Kirlian camera after much hard-won research and modified it from being an analog film based/high energy electrical system to encompass a CCD sensor, rather than traditional film of the cameras of old.

The Kirlian photographs shown here are of plants from the Wollemi Wilderness, a remote and mysterious region within the northern part of the greater Blue Mountains World Heritage on Wiradjuri country, that shelters the elusive Wollemi Pine, a species known only through fossil records until it was discovered in 1994 by David Noble a canyoner and renowned explorer of remote areas.

The photographs, with their connection to ‘spirit photography’ specifically notions of an aura or life force, are intended to evoke a range of associations – fantastical and grounded.  These images emerge from high voltage electrical fields upscaled from 12 volts to thousands of volts and utilize a saline filled capacitance plate.

The Artist
David Haines

David Haines lives and works in the Blue Mountains, Australia.