Award: Artist Research & Development Grant
Discipline: Visual Arts
Project Collaborator(s):

City/Town: Tucson
Year: 2018
Artist Website:

A few years ago, adrift on the internet, in that tangential way that the web can get us lost, I discovered Lumen prints. I began experimenting with the process and found it to be an amazing mix of alchemy and serendipity.

Tucson’s Charles “Chip” Hedgcock was awarded funding to support his work with scientists at Biosphere 2, a research facility located in the Sonoran desert. There he will use a camera-less photographic process known as Lumen prints to create botanical images of a wide range of plant species from the five different biomes within the facility. These images will provide a unique artistic interpretation of the botanical richness, contained within Biosphere 2, and will be presented to school groups, educational programs, visiting researchers, and other visitors to Biosphere 2.

Hedgcock hopes this work will raise public awareness of the diversity of plants from around the globe that Biosphere 2 contains while illuminating scientific research that provides a better understanding of our global environment.

Hedgcock is a Registered Biological Photographer with many years of experience working with scientists both in the laboratory and the field. He has worked as a photographer in medicine, the life sciences, and fine arts to create a unique vision of the natural world. He has a keen personal interest in the natural sciences and has participated in many biological expeditions documenting the biodiversity of unique, seldom explored mountain ranges in the Southwestern US and Northern Mexico. For Hedgcock, working at the Biosphere 2 is an extraordinary opportunity to take his work to the next level artistically, while also serving as a unique and artistic contribution to scientific interpretation.

Banner photos: (Left) “Arizona (velvet) ash, Fraxinus velutina, Molino Canyon” by Charles “Chip” Hedgcock. (Right) Charles Hedgcock. Photo by Tom Kirkendall.