Thomas Brummett, born in the United States in 1955 and working as a photographer since 1983, has shown in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe. His work is in numerous American private and public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Thomas Brummett lives and works in Philadelphia.
Brummett sees his work on a continuum with the 19th century practice of cataloguing natural history. His images of organic life forms and plants are created through unique printing techniques that result in work which transcends traditional photographic observation of nature and creates dreamlike images of exquisite aesthetic quality. This combining of familiar natural scenes and objects with 19th and 21st century technologies makes Brummett’s work stand alone in contemporary photographic practice.
From his exhibition of Animals titled Animalis (from the Latin, meaning “to have breath”) Brummett states:
“All my prints start out as black and white silver prints (printed on very old German Agfa paper), which are then manipulated in the darkroom via entropic processes I have developed over the years to bring out certain varied aspects of the film and print grain by the manipulation of the silver metals in the paper. Over the years it’s become a kind of private alchemy; but in this case I am not turning straw into gold but silver into a type of new mark. My intent is to show that by manipulating the film grain via bleaches and multiple development baths, brushes and toners, I can achieve a type of mark that is unique in the history of art. My goal is to link the world of drawing and the world of photography in these images. I want them to be part document, part cave drawing and part dream. As in all my work I am, in effect, attempting to mine the spaces that exist between photography, drawing, science and religion.”