Jessica Griffiths has always been interested in being creative and finding deeper meanings in poetry and art. However she never considered herself an artist until she recently found out that making art is a satisfying means of self expression. During her studies at University of Creative Arts in Rochester she focused on finding out who she is on a personal level as well as in terms of the work she is doing.
Her series “Certifying Existence” emerged from a questioning within herself about what a photograph actually was. On a basic level it was about ‘capturing a moment’ and preserving memories that seem worth remembering to the photographer. By doing so he is certifying his own existence, proving his presence and validating his life. But this explanation didn’t make sense to her.
Jessica started thinking about what happens to that photograph when it has surpassed its purpose. When the photograph outlives the memory, or the person it belongs to.
The most reasonable understanding that she gained from this enquiry is that a photograph is a metaphor for death. As soon as a particular moment is captured on film, it has passed and can never be brought back.
Jessica was looking for a way to visualize this mortality of a photograph and began experimenting with processes of organic decomposition. She documented the deterioration of the photographs from the moment she applied bacteria to the surface until it was completely gone. The image on its own became the death of the moment, but all the images as a series became a physical representation of the mortality of a person.