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Photography Carrying Memories of the Land-2022-Toni Hafkenscheid by Tania Willard

Carrying Memories of the Land-2022-Toni Hafkenscheid

Carrying Memories of the Land
Tania Willard, 2022
Medium: digital image
Documentation: Toni Hafkenscheid

In conversation with the archival image as depicted on garnet sandpaper in Vestige this series of work explores the transmutable form of the mineral garnet. As an abundant mineral on earth, garnet is used as sandpaper and sandblasting material as well as in gemstone cuts in its crystal and raw garnet forms. In Monument Valley, Arizona ‘ant hill’ garnets are ones that red harvester ants have excavated while the ants make anthills. This series of images that face the monumental equine portrait imbue the transformative sense of value, from garnet as a material for labour, sandpaper,  to the elevated value of jewellery and symbolic uses of this gemstone, this contrast in value underlies the complications in the image of the Secwepemc woman and how images themselves are valued, where and by whom. This series of images employs a red filter most often used in analog black and white photography but here in the digital becomes a symbol of viewing through the colour of garnet in its’ crystal or gem form. Red filters increase contrast in black and white photography, here this idea of contrast extends the conversation of this work into considering specific and local remembrance as a broader story.