Megan Bent is an artist who explores disability aesthetics, culture, and
identity through alternative process photography, film, and
Her artwork has been exhibited widely across the United States and she
is currently an artist in residence at Art Beyond Sight’s 2021 Art +
Disability Residency. Her work has been featured in Analog Forever
Magazine, Rfotofolio, Color Tag Magazine, Fraction Magazine, Float
Photography Magazine, and Too Tired Project.
In March of 2020, my fear of catching the Coronavirus became palpable.
“Don’t worry,” an acquaintance assured me “only the sick and elderly
will die.” I am chronically ill and immunocompromised. I Don’t Want To
Paint A Silver Lining Around It is my personal reflection of being high
risk in the pandemic. It is also my response to the outside world’s
demand that disabled people be acceptable losses for personal
convenience or for corporate profit.
Through chlorophyll printing, which uses UV light to print photographic
images directly onto leaves, I connect disability and nature to
undermine stereotypical representations of disability as tragic and
reframe it as a valuable part of human diversity.
The chlorophyll printing process (where one print/exposure may take
anywhere from 8- 72 hours) relies on flexibility, interdependence with
nature, and echos my experience of the disability concept of Crip Time,
living in a body/mind that values slowing down, connection, and care
over speed and production.
The fact that chlorophyll prints are impermanent, and will continue to
decay over time, asks the viewer to confront the interdependence and
bodily impermanence we all share.