Laura Hull

About her de-compose series

Food is perhaps the most ephemeral substance in our everyday lives. Fresh produce quickly moves towards its demise (rot or consumption), exposing me daily to the transience of life, decay, and ultimately death. My goal is to capture the found beauty in this ongoing transformation.

I compost. For several years I have been fascinated by the composition of decomposing foodstuffs that accumulate in my kitchen receptacle, on their way to the garden compost bin. Collecting the fragments in a transparent container, I observe the progression of decay and photograph it backlit by the sun. This process triggers a relationship matter and me, between its inevitable decline and the timely click of my camera.

These images reference the 16-17 Century Dutch painting genre called ‘vanitas’ (emptiness, futility), depicting human skulls and rotting fruit–beautifully painted still lifes imbued with the certainty of death. As with vanitas, my photographs (sensuous, complex, celestial) portend their subject matter’s course of decomposition, soon to be transformed into compost, nourishing new life forms for my consumption.



Formless Form

A Group Exhibition of Los Angeles' Top Emerging Artists
August 29 - September 26, 2020