Woman Crush Wednesday: Megan Cump
Photography and Words by Megan Cump
Photo Editor and Interview by Xinxin Zhang
“My series ATOMS / STONES is a lyrical atlas, made of fireworks, insects, prehistoric rock carvings, night skies, and portraits of sleepers. In Madrid, I encountered a 250,000-year-old fragment of a cranium––its interior laced with inky lines, branching like rivers on a map. This led me to a photographic investigation at the intersection of cosmology and cartography.
Charting their paths and patterns in the dark sky: stars, fireworks, satellites, and fireflies plot their coordinates in light. These dots and dashes, made on both a micro and macro scale, collide and scatter like atomic particles, tracing the universe on film. Other photographs are from my nighttime explorations in Portugal’s Côa River Valley. Here, Paleolithic images of horses, aurochs, felines, and ibex were incised into the rocky terrain over 20,000 years ago; marking the route of late Ice Age migrations and the origins of art making.
Woman Crush Questionnaire:
1. What is your motivation to make your genre of photographic art?
In Madrid, I encountered a 250,000-year-old fragment of a cranium––its interior laced with inky lines, branching like rivers on a map. This led me to a photographic investigation at the intersection of cosmology and cartography. The resulting series, ATOMS / STONES, is a lyrical atlas, made of fireworks, insects, prehistoric rock carvings, starry skies, and portraits of sleepers.
My work is led by a fascination with the night, wilderness, and the remote while registering the redemptive value of the ephemeral and transformation. It builds upon photography’s historic relationship with making the unseen visible.
2. How does your cultural background influence your art?
Perhaps my desire to explore the unknown is drawn from my deep Viking roots? Or perhaps I just like hiking after dark…
3. What is the most difficult thing you have experienced making photos?
In one location I was severely outnumbered by snakes; both on land and in the water.
Artistic Lifestyle Questionnaire:
1. How would you describe your creative process in one word?
2. If you would teach one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
Caving… everyone should spend some time underground.
3. What was the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
I always come back to Sarah Shun-lien Bynum’s novel Madeleine is Sleeping and Michelangelo Frammartino’s film Le quattro volte.
4. What is the most played song in your iTunes Library?
"Al hassada" by Nass El Ghiwane
5. How do you take your coffee?
I drink green tea.