With 350,000 flowering plants in the world, plus all the mosses and liverworts, there is an infinite variety of form for artists to render. Yet most of the representations we see, tend to be focused on the flower, and the showiest ones at that; while it’s easy to appreciate a stunning wisteria cascading down a beautiful building, or a close-up of a Pompom dahlia in full bloom, after repeated viewing such perfected images can leave you feeling indifferent. When plants are left to their own devices, they are neither perfect nor isolated, they are constantly in flux growing and dying, with their miraculousness and beauty not constrained to the ingenuity of their flower heads, but also their branching, root systems, and habitat interactions, among other things.
Deborah Baker is an example of a photographer that gives us another angle. The plants rendered are those she has grown herself over the last 8 years, giving her an understanding of her subject from which to work. Having spent considerable time with them, shooting them at different times of the day and year, she is able to construct an artwork that captures her sense of their identity. The title of each piece is formed from parts of the plants’ individual names, alluding to the hybridity of the image. Mixing things up like this, presenting a different perspective, provokes a deeper consideration of the subject and always a second look.
Images below are taken from Baker’s ongoing In Paradiso series, but she also has other interesting plant-focused photography collections on her website.
Deborah Baker is represented by L A Noble Gallery, London.
©Deborah Baker Coniferica Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery
©Deborah Baker Cornusnuttalli Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery
©Deborah Baker Acerasterus Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery
©Deborah Baker Euonycornus Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery
©Deborah Baker Hydraorborial Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery
©Deborah Baker Erimium Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery
©Deborah Baker Fraxinuski Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery
©Deborah Baker Raouliexigu Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery