For a number of years I had been photographing the interplay of light and water in Delaware Bay mostly during the summer months. One summer day as I was photographing the water breathe and the light dappling on it, I was startled by a dark object barely visible on the surface of the glassy water. Looking more closely, I realized it was a horseshoe crab (scientific name Limulus polyphemus) swimming on its back. How utterly strange and wonderous, I thought. What was it doing? Was it happily playing and soaking up the warm sunlight? Was it injured and dying? I had never seen this before despite years of coming upon stray horseshoe crabs washed up on the beaches in Lewes and the barrier islands farther south on the Eastern shore of the Atlantic ocean. The horseshoe crab became a sort of muse opening up a world of opportunity for both internal and external discovery. Photographing for this body of work helped me to experience and contemplate time, evolution, creation, interconnectedness, transience and human existence.
The term deep time refers to geological time and encompasses the age of the earth which scientists estimate to be about 4.5 billion years old. The oldest fossilized horseshoe crab ancestor, Lunataspis Aurora (Crescent moon shield of the dawn), is estimated to be 445 million years old and was discovered in Manitoba, Canada in 2008. It looks remarkably similar to the living Limulus polyphemus and the other three horseshoe crab species in Asia.
The photobook, DEEP TIME, was published in May 2019 by The Eriskay Connection (Breda, Netherlands.) https://www.eriskayconnection.com/home/84-deep-time.html
I would like to thank the following people for their generous contributions to the creation of DEEP TIME: Rob van Hoesel for his gorgeous book edit and design and commitment to its publication; Sebastiaan Hanekroot (Colour&Books) for beautiful lithography; poet Jane Hirshfield for permission to include her stunning poem and email exchange with me; and research storyteller Helen J. Bullard for her beautifully poetic essay. Special thanks to the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment in Lewes for offering me an artist residency to complete the microscopic photography work for this photobook.
TEC064 | 200 × 281 mm | 176 p |
hardcover in slipcase | full colour offset | EN
concept and photography: Lynn Alleva Lilley narrative construction: Lynn Alleva Lilley, Rob van Hoesel
poem: Jane Hirshfield
essay: Helen J. Bullard
design: Rob van Hoesel
lithography: Sebastiaan Hanekroot (Colour&Books)
production: Jos Morree (Fine Books)