Have you ever had a moment when reading something and you just want to shout out “YES”?! Phone up the author and chat to them for hours, because their words just ‘spoke to you’? I had one such moment a couple of days ago.
I read a brief but brilliant article by conceptual artist and photographer, Karina Sharpe on the Planthunter website entitled “Plant Geometry: A Design Study”. The words, ‘design’ and ‘plants’ in one title immediately caught my attention. I also follow Karina on Instagram and adore the imagery she shares. It was there I saw the imagery designed for the article.
This post isn’t a review of Karina’s article. I urge you to read it and draw your own conclusions.
Instead, as it so happens and to put this ‘aha’ moment into some perspective, I’ve recently been asking myself ‘why faces and flowers?!” Why am I completely obsessed by looking at faces – if I’m talking to you, forgive me if I stare – I just find your face fascinating. I am fascinated by the story your face can tell, the emotions you try to hide, yet your eyes giveaway. Those lovely wrinkles and lines that can tell a tale or two.
Additionally, why am I drawn to flowers? Their colours, forms, delicate in nature. Yet their amazing inner strength and ability to adapt and survive the elements. As an artist I have this constant niggling, nagging, annoying calling to create work that brings the two together somehow. And I’m not really sure why?
Then I read Karina’s article and her words put it all into perspective for me.
Are we not also as transient as a plant? Are we not, by our own very nature, in a constant state of change?
Yes! People too have amazing inner strength with the ability to adapt and survive to our surroundings. We have the ability to recover from terrible conditions even when we think we may, metaphorically speaking, be on the verge of dying – take for example, mental illness and depression, physical illness or bereavement. Yet we recover and possibly even bloom after difficult life events, as we learn and emotionally grow – life events are our ‘baby bio’, our emotional food.
Unlike plants however we live in perpetual emotional flux. As Karina puts it
What would life be like if we treated ourselves like plants? What if we didn’t wish we had more petals, or less holes, or fewer thorns. What if the Pine Tree didn’t yearn to be a shrub? What if the acorn didn’t wish it was a pear, or wish it were already the oak? …
What if, like these plants, we simply took each moment for each moment, in all its glory and splendour, and with a complete absence of suppose-to’s or ought-to-be’
We aren’t supposed to be, ought to have, should have been anything. The point is… there is no plant geometry, there is no human design. We have “no fixed way of being”.
Why faces and flowers? Why not. There are many juxtapositions and parallels to be drawn. I’m just going to go with those fascinations for now. See what happens. Go with the flow. Sway in the wind. Be carried by the tide.
Until next time…
Illustrations: Georgie St Clair
Flower Imagery: Karina Sharpe.
Thank you Karina for the inspiration.