Flora in Extremis

My work Flora in Extremis is a series produced as part of my BA in Creative Arts. It aims to graphically convey some of the threats to plant life looking at excessive use of pesticides and the effects of global warming. It also addresses the issue of plant blindness which is described as “an entire disconnect in people’s minds between plants and our utter dependence on them”. It contains four parts:

My Pesticides series act as a metaphor for the severe threat posed by the excessive and indiscriminate use of pesticides. In this series I print a floral image and spray it with pesticide. The resulting image is unstable, but to preserve it I scan it straight away and then print on photographic paper.

 Surimono (literally ‘printed thing’) applies to Japanese woodblock printed material which combine a poem or poems with a corresponding image. In collaboration, the poet and plant scientist Anne Osbourn and myself have created a form of surimono using photographs and poems integrated into a single image. These images are influenced by the concept of surimono, but do not follow the strict formatting discipline of the Japanese version. The resulting images give voice to the flowers addressing the concept of ‘plant blindness’.

Producing Cyanotypes relies on ultraviolet light. Excessive UV, however, also inhibits the growth processes of almost all green plants. I have used the cyanotype process as a metaphor for the danger global warming poses to plant life. Additionally coloured inks used in the images have names that are relevant to nature and to global warming e.g., Baked Earth, Hot Red, Fern Green. The title of each image is constructed from the name of the flower plus the inks used.

My Grave Flowers series is a typological study of the increasing use of artificial flowers in cemeteries and acts as a metaphor for the artificial replacing the natural. The typological approach enhances the overall collective impact of the individual images. 

Using Format