Are the patterns of our past, the imprints of our experience, indelible? The creation of Botanica: Patterns of Growth revealed the answer. I came to understand how the forms revealed in nature remain constant even as our creativity reconstructs them, nourishes them, and lends them new meaning. I have discovered, in this process, the truth that is relevant to me: form is constant; growth is a gift; and if we are to evolve we must accept what is indelible, embrace what is, and find beauty in what nature has bestowed upon us.
My life, my work, and the evolution of Botanica in particular, is a testament to this belief. In 2002 I fell in love and followed my heart. I moved from a beautiful, semi-wild island off Canada’s West coast to Fremont, California. This was a good thing in so many important ways. However, my uprooting was difficult as well. Where and how could I find beauty and meaning in the paved enclaves of suburbia? It turned out that I didn’t have to go too far.
I have always been a pragmatist in my approach to artistic inspiration. I believe it is everywhere around me and it is my challenge to discover it. I was working in landscaping to support myself. I tended a one-half acre sloping, hillside garden filled with many strange and wonderful plants. I found berries, petals, thorns, stems, stalks and seeds and my searching eye uncovered unexpected forms and structures in the various plants that grew here. I began collecting the plants from my prunings and bringing them home to photograph.
I started by arranging the objects I had collected and, using a white background, I created my own vision of nature’s imprinted shapes and forms. I built upon the similarities, the differences, the patterns and shapes inherent in the plant. The end results of these constructions are sometimes reminiscent of traditional botanical drawings and sometimes they emerge as stylized, graphic, personalized images. They all illuminate pattern, form, and structure.
Patterns like the circle and spiral are the cellular foundations of all forms life on earth. My connections to these natural patterns are what give form and meaning to the images I create.
Process Statement: I set up a white background in my back yard and shoot in open shade. Some of the constructions are done in Photoshop, others directly on the background. The images themselves are minimally corrected, and are printed on Hahnemuhle Fine Art paper using Epson pigment inks. They are printed in limited editions of 15.