University of Mississippi

Where the Roots Rise

July 24–December 1, 2018

The University of Mississippi Museum
Artist’s Lecture:
 Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 5:30 p.m. with light refreshments
Opening Reception and Gallery Walkthrough with Artist: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, 6–8:00 p.m.


Where the roots rise, in a forest full of ecru bone, the woman of the woods awakes to a world of myth and ruination. Where the Roots rise and the sun seeds, decay runs rampant—seasons change—nature lies in await to stake its claim.

 My work articulates humankind’s capacity to decay as a marker of our identity. Set in the swamps and woods of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, natural places where one encounters life and death, growth and decay, I explore the intimate relationship of a wild woman and her surrounding nonhuman environment. The woman collects the bones, branches, and flora and treads with the animals, both dead and living. 
 
The cyanotype process shifts focus from potentially colorful landscapes and figures to patterns, textures, and the relationships of forms within the images. Tea-staining the prints dulls the blue and adds warmth. Printing on thin Japanese paper reflects the deterioration of nature and gives the prints a feeling of fragility, reflecting upon the forms, the impermanence, and the interconnectedness of natural life.


Jaime Aelavanthara is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tampa in Photography & Foundations. She received her BFA from the University of Mississippi in Imaging Arts and her MFA in Photography from Louisiana Tech University. Her work explores a connection with the natural world and reflects on our transient, temporal lives that are each connected through the shared human condition. Her work can be seen at https://www.jaelavanthara.com/