Rainey Straus

  • Douglas Fir, Cyanotype on Arches Aquarelle, Approximately 46" W x 36" H
  • Fire Clearing #1, Cyanotype on Arches Platine, Approximately 43.5" W x 43.5" H
  • Sun Shower, Cyanotype on Hahnemuhle, Approximately 56"W x 28" H
  • Storm Ditch, Cyanotype on Hahnemuhle, Approximately 56" W x 37" H
  • Bon Tempe Rain, Cyanotype on Hahnemuhle, Approximately 42.5" H x 43.5" W
  • 2 Weeks in Spring, Cyanotype on Arches Platine, Approximately 28" W x 31" H
  • Shore Grassess, Cyanotype on Arches Aquarelle, Approximately 29" W x 25" H

I collaborate with the more-than-human world to tell new stories. Building intimacy with specific places allows me to challenge my human habits and assumptions and move beyond the veil of human exceptionalism at a critical time on the planet. I am at heart a researcher but one that takes a non-representational approach.
My current body of work uses the historical cameraless cyanotype process. Using simple salts and the sun to make images with nature feels deeply coherent to me — a nested methodology. My process involves walking sites repeatedly to experience the changing seasons, the unique flora and fauna, and to participate in the complex entangled world around me.
At each location or point along a trail, I produce a number of cyanotypes that reveal the multiple subjects, connections, and histories such as fire that have shaped the site. It’s later in the studio where the compositions materialize to tell a story of the energies and patterns that emerge from this dialogue. Sections of the work may at times look like a tree or plant but the final image reflects no actual place in nature but is the result of the generous environment combined with my human response. Out in the woods, I’m swaying, the paper is shifting, the world is stirring. It’s a reciprocal dance that creates an artifact embodying these relationships. My hope is that these stories of resilient more-than-human exchange serve as an invitation to the critical inquiry of how we might live on a changing planet.

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  • Artist Info

    • San Rafael, CA
      US - East

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