The foundational question for the series Conversations With Nature is “If we have to put nature back together, presumably because we have ruined it, what would it then look like?”
To answer that question symbolically I used dead and dying flowers and other plants. I used those things to represent ruined or lost nature, and by using them to build new flowers I was sybolically undertaking the task of rebuilding nature.
“Hot Head,” this image, is one of the forty in the series and it was one of the simpler pieces and I think one of the more eye catching . When hanging in a room with a light on it – it practically leaps from the wall!
My goal here was to create something colourful, bold and pretty – the kind of flower that we would try to make if we were making flowers all over again from the beginning. The bloom is built out of dozens of little hydrangea flowers that fell from serveral large blooms that dried out in autumn after they had taken on a strong orange colour.
I began with a stick which I stuck through a dry wild cucumber seed head thereby creating a stem. The wild cumcumber gave me a ‘center’ which I used to hold a whole lot of tiny dry blooms. Then into that basic structure I was able to add more and more orange blooms until – Voilà! – a large round orange globe of beauty! (In truth there was a lot more stuggle then I have admitted, but I’ll just leave it at that.)
The last and most important factor in the process is light. I put this handmade flower globe under intense studio light – about 1000 watts in total – in order to show the intense natural colour of the petals. Then I photographed it. The final step for each of these works is the printing. Here online it is difficult to give you an appreciation of how these images look once they are printed on high quality paper.