I was inspired by the work of photographer Christoffer Relander. He creates a layered effect by making images using multiple exposures, as I don’t have a film camera I attempted to create a similar effect digitally, with these results. Part of this was Victorian Flower Symbolism and the idea that our personality can be conveyed in flowers, which was why I predominantly used Alstroemeria for Abby (which means friendship) as she is “my lobster”!.
When I was younger I love the Flower Fairy books by Cicely Mary Barker so I wanted to incorporate this into my plants project. My initial inspiration for bringing flower fairies into my work was the popularity of flower symbolism in the Victorian era. Flower symbolism also features in the work of many Pre- Raphaelite painters, especially John William Waterhouse in pieces such as Ophelia. His work was also inspired by myths and folklore such as Arthurian Legend and mermaids, which drew me to create a flower fairy piece. I chose to use clay as I wanted to experiment using a new medium and I loved the fairy sculptures in my friend’s house! I think I probably should have tried to create this on a larger scale as I struggled trying to create the delicate limbs and sculpting the face. Next time I will try to make it more detailed.
I wouldn’t say I’m a tree hugger, but I’m definitely against deforestation, the whole thing makes me quite angry. On the one hand you have the plants and animals that live in the Amazon Rainforest that depend on each other for survival within their ecosystem, logging and the gold rush are destroying their habitat and their chances of survival! What’s even worse are some of these species are unique to the Amazon and there may be some species we haven’t even found yet. However on the other hand there are families living in and around the rainforest who depend on it for survival and need to harvest the trees and create farmland in order to survive, even though the soil eventually washes away into the Amazon River due to the large amount of rain and lack of tree roots in those areas. It’s a pretty rocky situation and more needs to be done to help these people and protect the rainforest. The deforestation wouldn’t be nearly as devastation if it wasn’t for some illegal loggers and even some commercial companies.
If you’re not interested in the effect on climate change, you should be. Climate change is a natural part of the Earth’s cycles, however we are increasing the rate of climate change when these trees are cut down by polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and the rivers are polluted with mercury from illegal gold mining sites which can cause miscarriages in humans as well as many other devastating effects on man and animals. Climate change means it’s harder for animals to adapt to their changing environment, I suppose it’s survival of the fittest but it is being escalated by man and creating more environmental issues.
The artwork above represents this, I used my observational photographs to make these images. As I said, there are many species that are unique to the rainforest, and many of them are used in medicine. But what if there is a cure for cancer or ebola or another disease in this amazing forest but we can’t find it because we are destroying it. The pieces show how we depend on our environment for certain drugs as well as other natural resources and how we should do everything we can to protect it, if not for the organisms that live there then for ourselves.
I know it’s not art orientated but I’m so pleased with my A Level results I had to post them! A*AA with one of the A’s being for Fine Art! A for English Language and (amazingly) A* in Biology!
I visited the Botanic Garden in Durham City in order to obtain observational photographs of exotic plants for my Margaret Mee response which I then edited and will post later. Margaret Mee was a botanical artist who was one of the first people to draw attention to the effects of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. She created anatomically correct drawings of a range of flora, most notably her orchids.
Images taken on Canon EOS 40D