Laurie Tumer: When The Evidence Is Glowing

After suffering through a pesticide poisoning in her garden, American photographer, Laurie Tumer was determined to show the omnipresence and danger of chemicals in our lives. She took innocent images- childrens’ booties, a can of Coke, and flowers as examples and revealed how easily noxious pesticides can infiltrate the most intimate places in the home. Her exhibit is called Glowing Evidence. ::GristRecently, Tumer has decided to take her Glowing Evidence project one step further. She writes TreeHugger:

“I am currently working on many new pieces. I am photographing fat as this is where pesticides are stored in the body. It is difficult to detoxify them in the fat and this is what creates many of the health problems.

SHOTS, a U.S. photography journal edited by Russell Joslin, has featured me in their Autumn 2006 issue and since the interview, I have been thinking more about our pictorial impulse - how the project is essentially motivated by our need to visualize what we can't see - sort of like the early illustrations of the ocean floor and how these curiosities lead us to more precise visualizations of reality. And how visualizations of this nature impact social awareness and political change. I also am thinking more about how visualizations in the environment and that the body can't help but affect the traditions of landscape and portrait photography."

Tumer's images have recently been used by Dr. Marg Sanborn, a rural physical and pesticide researcher of Canada, who took her photographs from the Glowing Evidence series to train rural physicians about pesticides and how to recognize pesticide ailments that are often confused with other diagnoses.


Last month, Tumer was invited to be in a show at the Harwood Art Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico titled New Mexico Pics: The State of Photography. It also featured work by Patrick Nagatani, Siegfried Halus, Robert Stivers, Holly Roberts, Miguel Gandert and others.

"I currently have several pieces in our faculty show at Santa Fe Community College where I teach photography," Tumer tells TreeHugger. "We have a wonderful gallery there with the most extraordinary art facilities in the state. I am showing Studies in Red, White, and Blue – lenticular works - that can be viewed here."