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Corn Diversity

Dornith Doherty
Corn Diversity
From the series Archiving Eden
Digital chromogenic lenticular print
74 x 42 inches
Courtesy of the artist, Holly Johnson Gallery, and McMurtrey Gallery
© Dornith Doherty. All Rights Reserved

Dornith Doherty began her project Archiving Eden in 2008, working with scientists at two of the world’s most comprehensive international seed banks. These facilities are home to thousands of seeds (their numbers suggested by the multiple images of corn kernels in this photograph) and propagated plants. They are also storehouses of information that support ongoing research in seed biology, physiology, and conservation worldwide. While a few seed banks are more than a century old, new repositories have opened in response to concern about a lack of agricultural diversity that has resulted from years of cultivating the same crops. Doherty was fascinated by the fact that the level of human interference in the natural world now includes a fail-safe scenario for the plants that sustain our lives. To create her pictures, the artist used the X-ray equipment at the seed banks she visited to capture arrangements of seeds.