I’ve created photographs depicting fantasy worlds in my new series, Jenga, celebrating insects or small animals in still life photographs. The photographs also symbolize nature’s fragile state. Jenga refers to the game of stacked blocks that ultimately collapse as blocks are removed one by one. It’s not hard to imagine our world crashing down like the game of Jenga as the supports necessary to sustain us are removed. I created the photographs after observing an alarming decrease of the insect population in my garden due to habitat changes, pesticides,deforestation and global warming. It made me want to memorialize nature.
For this photographic series, I collected and assembled botanical materials for each work, layering sample media and dyes on multiple sheets of glass that are separated by Jenga blocks. Each photo is a view into a created – fantasy world. All the insects or animals used in creating the photographs were either found in Richman’s neighborhood or purchased from a company that claims the specimens for sale were farm-raised and died of natural causes.