Solo Artist 2023

Craig Ames

Photographs of British Algae  AI Impressions

Inspired by the English botanist and photographer Anna Atkins and her photographic record of botanical specimens ‘Photographs of British Algae – Cyanotype Impressions’ (1843-1853), ‘Photographs of British Algae – AI Impressions’ (2022), by Craig Ames is, as Atkins’ work once was, created using one of the cutting-edge imaging technologies we have at our disposal.  As a photography pioneer, Atkins created the world’s first photobook and photographic-based record of botanical specimens and her distinctive works have gone on to inspire generations of artists and image-makers. 

Today, Ames uses the perhaps most transformative imaging technology being developed and employed, generative AI.  Adopting Atkins’ philosophy of image making, the artist utilises this emerging technology in order to create specimen exemplars of ‘AI impressions’.

Ames used a broad sample of the Latin names of the specimens that Atkins photographed and processed them through a text-to-image AI generator, producing a body of work which was labelled and catalogued to create a new visual taxonomy of simulated algae. In this way, the simulacra intentionally distorts the boundaries between the real and the artificial, highlighting the growing disconnect between the natural world and the simulated hyperreality.


Craig Ames is a British artist whose work concentrates on contested spaces, expanded forms of evidence, simulation, artificial intelligence imaging as well as the networked image. He translates his ideas and projects with the help of different mediums, such as photography, AI imaging, text, moving image and sourced, online material. His interest in photography started when he was training to become an evidence photographer while serving the British Army as a combat soldier. The practice formed and expanded his fascination with the medium of photography.