Skip to product information
1 of 1

The Light Within (Ode to Marie Clark Taylor)

The Light Within (Ode to Marie Clark Taylor)

Title | The Light Within (Ode to Marie Clark Taylor)
Type | Original 3-Dimensional Papercut Cyanotype, 24-carat gold leaf Inspiration | Marie Clark Taylor
Year | 2024
Materials | Cyanotype, 3d papercut collage, handmade paper, 24-carat gold leaf 15.2in frame diameter x 1.2in frame depth


Inspired by Marie Clark Taylor. Born in 1911, was an extraordinary African American woman whose contributions to science and education broke barriers and inspired countless women. As a pioneering botanist, she became the first woman of color to earn a Ph.D. in botany from Fordham University in 1941. Her research on photomorphogenesis—the influence of light on plant development—was groundbreaking and earned her recognition in scientific circles.

However, Taylor’s legacy extends beyond her scientific achievements. She was a passionate educator, dedicating her career to Howard University, where she transformed the botany department and championed the importance of hands-on learning. Her innovative teaching methods, which included summer science institutes for high school teachers, ensured that the next generation of scientists would be well-prepared and inspired.

From a feminist perspective, Marie Clark Taylor's story is one of resilience, determination, and breaking glass ceilings. In an era when both racial and gender discrimination were rampant, she excelled in a field dominated by men, proving that women, particularly women of color, could not only participate in but also lead scientific inquiry and education. Her legacy is a testament to the power of education and the importance of representation in STEM fields.

Taylor’s work continues to inspire women and girls to pursue careers in science, reminding us that with perseverance and passion, we can overcome any obstacle and pave the way for future generations. Her life is a powerful example of how one woman's dedication and vision can create lasting change and inspire others to dream bigger.


The Light Within (Ode to Marie Clark Taylor)) was created by constructing a hand-cut collage using female photographic portraiture, scientific microscopic slides of photographs, illustrations of botanical

materials and light rays of the Sun: Representing her research in photomorphogenesis, this focused on how light influences plant growth. These also symbolize enlightenment and knowledge.

Flowers, seeds and seedlings of Scarlet Sage/ Salvia splendens), Cosmos bipinnatus and orange cosmos /Cosmos sulphureus. She subjected the plants to different lengths of regulated light (6, 10 and 16 hours) and measured the response in seed and flower production. The sage plants produced the most flowers under the 10 hour photoperiod and the least flowers at 16 hours. The cosmos plants continued to increase flower production with added daylight but the flowers declined in quality at the longest photoperiod.: Symbolizing the 'seeds of knowledge' she planted in her students and her contributions to nurturing the next generation of scientists.

After coating the handmade paper with light-sensitive chemistry, it is left to dry in a dark room. The large-scale negative is contact printed onto the paper by exposure to daylight (UV rays). The print is then processed by thoroughly washing in water to remove any unexposed solution. It can then be hung to dry, developing to full density Prussian blue after 24 hours.

Once dried, the pieces are cut out and mounted onto the base print to create a multi-layered, 3-dimensional collaged cyanotype and hand finished with 24-carat gold leaf.


15.2in frame diameter x 1.2in frame depth


Handmade recycled cotton rag paper:
150- 320gsm / 100% Cotton Rag / Recycled / Acid Free / Medium Rough


We use float mounting for all of our framed cyanotypes. The artwork floats above a snow-white 8001 mount board, to showcase the paper texture and deckled edging.


Framed artwork will arrive ready to hang. Each frame is handmade by our London based design team.

All frames come with gallery spec, Artglass AR70 / 3mm anti-reflective/ 79% UV protected glazing as standard. 

Regular price $1,695.00
Regular price Sale price $1,695.00
Sale Sold out
View full details