My work currently revolves around themes of the grotesque and the uncanny, with a sub-theme of re-animation of the lifeless.

 

I photograph using a process called wet-plate collodion, a process invented in 1851 and is the same method used to make American Civil War photographs.

“Rattus Pseudomonas” is a depiction of a baby rat being lifted out of a bowl of mucus by an unseen presence. To me, coughing up mucus was a life-giving exercise, though tiresome.

Breathing became easier and I had more energy (I use past tense; I was fortunate enough to receive a lung transplant in January  2016 so this is no longer an issue for me).  In this image, the bowl of mucus is a source of life for the dead baby rat as it becomes re-animated.

rattus-pseudomonas extreme photography confronting cystic fibrosis

Generally I don’t divulge what the image consists of, as I want to place the viewer in a state of confusion and discomfort. However in the context of Cf, I feel an explanation is necessary.

The rat was sourced ethically, I didn’t buy it and kill it myself for the sake of a photo. It was purchased deceased and frozen from a pet shop that sells them to feed to snakes. I’ve used rabbits and newborn mice in my work, and recently I used lung blood.

If you want to view more, click here to see my website.

Ryan Fitzgerald