#yycLCL December 2022

An image of mushroom by Julya Hajnoczky
Coprinellus micaceus 2 | Photo; Julya Hajnoczky

#yycLCL December 2022

My work takes me all over Canada during what I call my ‘field season’ — spring through fall. This set of images, in particular, was created during artist residencies in Creston, BC, at Empire of Dirt. As my practice has developed, I’ve learned the value of returning to a place over and over, in many seasons, to learn more about it. This has been the case with Empire of Dirt, where I’ve been a resident numerous times over the last few years, and as a result, have created rich documentation of the ecosystem of the site, from spring blooms to fall mushrooms to work created in response to climate events like the 2021 heat dome. Each of the images shared here includes specimens collected on-site, scanned, and then returned to where they were found.

My work is very site responsive, so that means a lot of slow (very slow!) walking and a lot of looking, being attentive to what things are growing and living together in the place I’m studying. I take my cues from field guides I’ve read, from experts I’ve spoken with, but first and foremost, from my observations of the place. Together they should give you a glimpse of the things that live and grow together, especially the tiny living things that often go unnoticed, and some sense of the deep connections that sustain these ecosystems.

I feel lucky to live this creative life as a full-time artist, doing work that allows me to travel and visit some of the most stunningly beautiful and ecologically significant places in our province and country. Between project funding from grants (including Calgary Arts Development, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and Canada Council for the Arts), sales of my work, exhibition fees and some work in the commercial photography sector, I can make a living doing work that inspires me. 

Julya Hajnoczky is an artist whose practice examines human relationships with the natural world and how ecosystems are changing in our current era by imagining and creating possible near-futures and future landscapes. Using a high-resolution scanner as her camera, the specimens collected from each site are arranged together on the glass, composing intimate portraits of ecosystems.

Follow Julia on Instagram and visit her website obscura-lucida.com to view her work.

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