My Muse, the Lily
There’s nothing new about an artist being inspired by nature. It’s the main source of inspiration for most artists, particularly those who prefer the aesthetic merits of the lush and diverse countryside, the wide expanses of ocean and the changing effect of light and seasons. But what struck me today, as I sat on my sofa taking more than a momentary glance at a vase of supermarket-bought lilies next to me, was that in just a humble flower, there is so much incredibly complex beauty. Captured on camera, you have the opportunity to focus in on the individual features of the flower, its stamen, its stems, as well as the flower’s relationship with its surroundings – exit from the water, and entry into the water, as a suction bubble forms around the stem, whose angles are in turn distorted and multiplied by the effect of glass and water. When framed by a camera lens, stamen become complex, furry organisms, worthy of intense interest and query. In the same way simple stems become stripy, complex sculptures, criss-crossing like the motif from a Japanese silk screen. On the leaves, intense ribbing creates a delightful landscape of rise and fall, light and shade, while each petal resonates with different shades of white, as the delicate edge comes into focus, and the centre of the flower softens into shadow.
For me, it only takes a vase of flowers to inspire, and with a camera, I can seize upon this ripe source of inspiration, creating a hundred different photographic canvases from this one group of four lily stems, as each photo in turn proffers an abstract dance of white, green and orange, and the humble flower becomes artistically abundant, deconstructed and captured forever in art’s two dimensions.
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