Sharon Lee Hart is a South Florida-based artist currently exploring ecology, ephemerality, and time through experimental and cameraless photography. While maintaining an active studio practice, Hart serves as an Associate Professor of Art at Florida Atlantic University. With an environmental focus, she has also served as an artist-in-residence at Joshua Tree National Park (Joshua Tree, CA), The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences (Rabun Gap, GA), and The Studios of Key West (Key West, FL). Hart received the 2023 SECAC Artist’s Fellowship Award. Her work is in several permanent collections including the King County Public Art Collection (Seattle, WA) and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, Missouri), and has been featured in solo and group exhibitions, both in the U.S. and internationally.
My current artistic practice utilizes sustainable and experimental forms of production that center nature as both subject and catalyst. Building a collaborative relationship with the ecosystems I engage with, I consider issues such as species extinction and climate change, connecting them to concepts of conservation and ephemerality in photography. Dark Tracing for example, features cameraless photographs imprinted with a microcosm of the sea, created along the shoreline at night. The photograms are developed with tea made from sargassum seaweed, an algae that, in substantial quantities, can harm the already threatened ocean environment. Sea saltwater is used to stabilize the ghostly images.
In the in process project, Vanishing, anthotype portraits of at-risk and endangered flora and fauna native to Florida similarly take their physical form through natural processes such as sun bleaching and the use of plant juices. The fragility of the prints, which will fade over time, symbolize the vulnerability faced by the species they depict. The resulting images in both series are alternately archival and atmospheric, scientific and surreal, reflecting the methods of their construction. As with much of my work, viewers are encouraged to adopt a sense of wonder and responsibility toward plants and animals while recognizing the interdependency that connects us.