This multimedia series reflects on the ingenious human use of nature and interaction with the basic building blocks of material design: sand, water, and clay. Through these materials, people have imagined and manufactured inspiring objects to ease the course of daily life and engage us in further leaps of imagination.

Ingenuity features eight digital images of nature set in shadow boxes. Pottery, ceramic, and glass shards are applied over each landscape to prompt the viewer to reflect upon history and the complexity of our relationship with nature. While paying tribute to human cleverness and the instinct to create, learn, and progress, each piece serves as a distinct reminder that the “materials of ingenuity” and the ecosystems they support are being challenged, and of the need to preserve them.

Based in Caledon, Ontario, Pam Purves is a fine art photographer working in digital imagery. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, and Italy.