Rowan Spray

Rowan Spray

My approach draws on historical botanical illustration traditions, as well the photographic work of Karl Blossfeldt who isolates the subject (or specimen) from its environment – placing it onto a neutral background. Elevating the subject and giving weight to it, we are forced to look more closely than we might usually –  to scrutinise and pick out details that may otherwise be missed. The spaces in between become as important as the subject itself, and this breathing space helps us to better understand the subject’s form; “the curlicues of the plant leaves (…) break up the image, giving weight to the negative space, activating it”  Colour is integral to my practise and is utilised to give a modern twist to the works. “We know that we are looking at a botanical photograph but the colour (…) enlivens it, it walks the line between the familiar and the alien.” An electrified palette, applied to natural forms, asks the viewer to look again with fresh eyes. The work is heavily influenced by my rural upbringing (in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire), and the sense of wonder that the plant world evokes in me. I aim to imbue my subjects (both in and outside of the studio) with a little magic, in the hope that the viewer will reconsider their approach to nature in their daily lives. 

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