In 2010 I began traveling and working on a series of photographs of the nuclear infrastructure of Washington State. In studying these sites I became fascinated by the uranium mineral and its uses by industry. One of the (more obscure) applications was the intensification of glass slides. Upon further research I discovered that Kodak had actually manufactured a uranium toner but that it had been discontinued (for obvious reasons) in the 1960s. After returning to Seattle I printed the work in my studio and the resulting prints were then toned in uranium toner (turning the prints a red hue). I am interested in using these images to raise awareness regarding the issues surrounding the use of uranium and its procurement as well as the human costs these activities have on all of our lives. I am also working to produce a bound limited edition book for inclusion in the University of Washington Book Arts Special Collection. This edition will contain a limited number of small toned prints from the project.
Kathleen Flenniken began her career as a civil engineer and didn’t discover poetry until her early 30s. Her collection, Plume (University of Washington Press, 2012), a meditation on the Hanford Nuclear Site and her home town of Richland, Washington, won the Washington State Book Award and was a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Pacific Northwest Book Awards. Her first book, Famous (University of Nebraska Press, 2006), won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association. Her other honors include a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Artist Trust. She was the 2012 – 2014 Washington State Poet Laureate.
Dan Hawkins is a Seattle-based photographer who uses a wide variety of obsolete and innovative imaging processes to create his work. These highly personal documents often deal with the dual themes of memory and decay. Beginning with empty houses and discarded water towers he has gone on to record EPA Superfund sites, chemical factories, decaying ballrooms, deserted nuclear facilities, crumbling hotels, and a number of derelict mental hospitals and jails. In his attempts to describe a “landscape of the soul” he has managed to see many of the nation’s lost treasures of industry and tour its forgotten mental health legacy. He is currently working on a body of photographs from a recent tour of the nuclear reactors of Northern France.
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