When I toss my banana peel and coffee grounds into the compost bin every morning, I tend to slam down the lid as quickly as possible. Saratoga Springs-based photographer (and saratoga living contributor) Terri-Lynn Pellegri does the exact opposite. Composting, or the process of recycling various organic materials (such as food waste) to produce a nutrient-rich soil conditioner, is the subject of Pellegri’s most recent photo project. Her Love Compost collection will be on display at Uncommon Grounds for the entire month of May—a bonus, given that International Compost Awareness Week (yes, there’s one of those) only stretches from May 5-11.
Pellegri’s photo project depicts mostly snaps of unaltered accumulations of her kitchen scraps, “which many people would consider garbage,” she says. “The soon-to-be-composted matter often seen as rotten, useless, decaying and valueless is viewed through a more open lens, a shifted perspective. Perhaps the photos will provide a thoughtful suggestion or stimulate conversation.” It’s not lost on Pellegri that “presenting this collection in a food establishment”—one that participates in food composting itself—“will create an interesting dialogue of its own.” The photographer hopes that her art will challenge the way we put labels on things and transform what we consider to be “trash.”
Beautiful, provocative and important, Love Compost almost makes me want to open up my bin and take a closer look. Almost.