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Stephanie Paine

Untitled: A typology of 60 walnut shells
10x10 cm black and white photographs, digital pinhole photography

This series of photographs contains images of walnut shells discarded by dormice, which carve a smooth, round hole on one or two sides of the shell in order to eat the insides. The initial site of them, seemingly carefully placed in the soft soil with the opened-side facing upwards, is striking. In many of the walnut shells, tiny claw marks in the remaining flesh can still be seen. Each shell has an individual marking, acting much like a fingerprint. I collected them daily; obtaining several kilos of the uniquely shaped exteriors. 

Since the walnut tree has been, and continues to be, a valuable source of income for farmers and villagers, I wanted to show the significance of the walnut in regards to this, but mostly in respect to the deserted Tsarino. Here, no one exists to harvest the nut, except for a few locals who visit the area at times to collect them. However, the trees are abundant in Tsarino, and most of the walnuts fall to the ground and are left to nature. Without such a circumstance, the distinctive quality of these walnuts would not have been seen. 

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