The secret lies in selecting the right plant for the right spot, archival pigment print, 2021



Closeup of The secret lies in selecting the right plant for the right spot, archival pigment print, 2021



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



Plumy, beading of warm dew, archival pigment print, 2021



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



You are all of these: Tasteful, mysterious, tropical, and graceful, archival pigment print, 2021



Closeup of You are all of these: Tasteful, mysterious, tropical, and graceful, archival pigment print, 2021



Closeup of You are all of these: Tasteful, mysterious, tropical, and graceful, archival pigment print, 2021



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



This demands too much, archival pigment print, 2021



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



Domestic inhabitant glistening with health, archival pigment print, 2021



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



Infatuation, archival pigment print, 2021



Closeup of Infatuation, archival pigment print, 2021



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



Stimulant for exotic fantasy, archival pigment print, 2021



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



Tamed, archival pigment print, 2021



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



The jungle in the parlour, archival pigment print, archival pigment print, 2021 



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



Emerald green pet (better than a welcome mat), archival pigment print, 2021



Installation view, Nature Inside, 2021, Well Well Projects, Portland, Oregon



Installation view of Closeups, archival pigment prints, 2021 



Installation view of Closeups, archival pigment prints, 2021




Thank you to RAAC for the generous grant in support of this exhibition. 

More elegantly muscular than delicate (after Strange Plants III), archival pigment print, 2021



Never do they cease to be in flower and in fruit (in reference to King Alcinous’s orchards,
Homer, Odyssey, Book 7), archival pigment print, 2021



Human organs, words with too many meanings, and insomnia (the sadness of Purple, after Mary Ruefle), archival pigment print, 2021



The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals (after Sylvia Plath), archival pigment print, 2020



The table laid before a party, the unperceived and therefore never felt and seldom expressed; the funeral silence of bones beneath the green carpet of evenly cut grass
(the sadness of green, after Mary Ruefle), archival pigment print, 2021



From Never do they cease to be in flower and in fruit, archival pigment print, 2021



From more elegantly muscular than delicate (after Strange Plants III, archival pigment print, 2021



From the sadness of Purple (strawberry), after Mary Ruefle, archival pigment print
2021



From the sadness of Purple (tulip), after Mary Ruefle, archival pigment print, 2021



The sadness of naps and hand sanitizer; the citrus of sadness (Yellow, after Mary Ruefle), archival pigment print, 2021



Lemon Moons, archival pigment print, 2020



Before they came the air was calm enough / The broken tulips eat my oxygen
(after Sylvia Plath and Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder), archival pigment print, 2020


Pleasing but unnecessary, archival pigment print, 2020



Dining Room Pictures at Carnation Contemporary, Installation View 



Fruit of the Loom / Womb, archival pigment print, 2020



Dining Room Pictures at Carnation Contemporary, Installation View




Dining Room Pictures at Carnation Contemporary, Installation View


What fragments of her history live in my body? (after Rebecca Solnit), archival pigment print, 2020



Dining Room Pictures at Carnation Contemporary, Installation View


She never utters precisely the nature, archival pigment print, 2020



Dining Room Pictures at Carnation Contemporary, Installation View



This pineapple wants to eat me, archival pigment print, 2020



Dining Room Pictures at Carnation Contemporary, Installation View


Leave the cherries alone, archival pigment print, 2020



The surprise sadness (Yellow, after Mary Ruefle), archival pigment print, 2020

Artist Statement



I seek to invoke a sense of surprise or contradiction through the consideration of photographs that occupy liminal spaces between artifice and truth, imagination and the real, and mimesis and the origin. The objects that I photograph are mined from the natural world, nature kitsch, and feminine stereotypes. I define kitsch in terms of its 19th-century Victorian roots, as myth or melancholic curiosities that simultaneously evoke desire and comfort while masking denial and loss. I think of nature kitsch as objects that attempt to mimic the blooming beauty of nature, while virtually eliminating the process of decay from the natural world.

Once each still life is lit and photographed, I continue the work in a digital darkroom, such as Adobe Photoshop. I use adjustment layers to explore color transformation,  merging the reality of the photographed still life with an imagined space where color runs wild. Digital transformations are endless and can just as easily be undone. My printed photographs are often cut and taped to the wall and rephotographed. In that sense, my work embodies the natural cycles of change: perpetually unfolding, and in a permanent state of suspense. Through these iterations, I both celebrate and question relationships between femininity, repression, beauty, nature, and loss.

All images copyright Kelda Van Patten