The Instant Garden
"…was it not the late Ryszard Kapuscinski, in his magnificent book
on the Shah, who realised why Iranians made such beautiful carpets. They
wove birds with splendidly coloured wings on to silken trees and rivers
and blossom-covered branches. And they would throw their carpets to the
ground, creating a garden in the desert.”
Using the idea of the ‘instant garden’ created when a richly floral
carpet was thrown to the ground in ancient Persia, I create a new kind
of ‘garden’ using composite images of industrially grown flowers. The
result is a product of a slow, ponderous process of assembling ‘pieces’.
The soft lighting, reminiscent of Dutch Still Life paintings, is used
to enhance a sense of distance and deep space as the “real” flower is
converted through software into the flower symbol found in many ancient
‘Floriculture’ is an attempt to bridge the ‘hand-made’ elements of
highly detailed and painstakingly constructed crafts (needlework, lace
making, quilts, crochet, etc. ) with the techniques of digital
manipulation and construction that have emerged with new twenty-first
century photographic software.
So ‘Floriculture’ plays with ideas around control and stylization
that have been present in discussions of ‘nature’ for centuries. This
work sits in the uncomfortable space between the aestheticization and
the exploitation of nature, offering not conclusions, but suggestions
about ‘making’ rather than ‘shooting’ and a new relationship between
ancient and modern that speaks to both.