Brandon Balengée

DFB 44: PANDORA, FROM THE SERIES MALAMP RELIQUARIES, 2013
Unique Iris print on Arches watercolour paper
119 x 87 cm
Collection Gemeente Sittard-Geleen, long term loan to Museum De Domijnen, Netherlands

DFA 147: PHAETON, FROM THE SERIES MALAMP RELIQUARIES, 2013
Unique Iris print on Arches watercolour paper
119 x 87 cm
Collection Gemeente Sittard-Geleen, long term loan to Museum De Domijnen, Netherlands

DFA 136: PROCRUSTES, FROM THE SERIES MALAMP RELIQUARIES, 2013
Unique Iris print on Arches watercolour paper
119 x 87 cm
Collection Gemeente Sittard-Geleen, long term loan to Museum De Domijnen, Netherlands

Malamp: The Occurrence of Deformities in Amphibians, 1996 – ongoing

brandon1 copy

For almost two decades, a central practice of my primary biological research and subject of my artworks has been the decline and potential causes of deformities among amphibian populations. As an artist and biologist, I have studied amphibians and internationally collaborated with numerous other researchers and hundreds of participating members of the public.

Malamp Reliquaries (2001-current) are created by chemically “clearing and staining” terminally deformed frogs. This process obscures direct representation – as I do not want to exhibit large images of “monsters”, which would be frightening and exploitative to the organisms.

This process was followed by high-resolution scanner photography of each specimen to create individual portraits. These portraits were printed as unique watercolor ink prints (IRIS) and each individual frog was centered so as to appear to “float” in what looks to be clouds. This otherworld quality was reinforced by the titles, each named after an ancient character from Greek mythology. They were scaled so that the frogs appear to be the approximate size of a human toddler, in an attempt to invoke empathy in the viewer instead of detachment or fear. When they are too small they will be dismissed, but if they are far too large then they would become monsters. Each finished artwork was be unique and never editioned, to recall the plight of the individual animal and become a reliquary to a short-lived non-human life.

Brandon Ballengée

References: B. Ballengée and S.K. Sessions (2009)
“Explanation for Missing Limbs in Deformed Amphibians”, Journal of Experimental Zoology. (Mol. Dev. Evol.), 312B

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s