Iren Barnum

Apocalypse Garden

Class of: 2023

Major: Integrated Design BFA

Medium: Digital photography

Faculty: Elizabeth Wentling

Prompt: Digital Photography Final Project: present a series of 5 photographs on a subject of your choice

For many people, the pandemic feels apocalyptic, isolating, and frightening. For my family in Northern California, the pandemic looks like a lot more gardening. We are building out our garden to be able to survive off its food if necessary, as supply chains are already dwindling here. A mix of styled and candid, these photos document what our apocalypse looks like: building huge compost piles, nurturing the soil to ensure sustainability, and transplanting seedlings from the greenhouse into the ground.

A mixture of styled and candid shots gave me the range needed in this series, from a more serious shot of my whole family sitting around the garlic bed to an entirely candid photo of the first compost pile build, which turned out to be my favorite.

Apocalypse Garden shows a pandemic reality entirely different from the urban one of paranoia and isolation: a reality full love, a degree of resignation, preparation for a future entirely changed, and dedication to the cultivation of the Earth.