The Pastoral Monuments series expands an underlying theme of the real and the re-presentation of it. In this case, Helen Sear references the historical photographs of the botanist and photographer, Mary Dillwyn, whose photographs from the early 1850s depicted wild flowers arranged in domestic crockery.
Sear has sourced more than 80 wild flowers from the same Welsh field and photographed them in jugs and vases from around the world. Though handling the resulting prints and rephotographing them—evidencing this handling—Sear believes that "the flowers and their containers become connected in a material sense, across the surface of the image." Further, we see in the photographs familiar ideas associated with flowers—youth, beauty and mortality. In some ways these photographs become monuments to flowers.
Series: Pastoral Monuments
Signature: Via Label and Certificate.
Image rights: Helen Sear
Klompching Gallery, September 13– October 26, 2012
Direct from the artist.
About Helen Sear
Helen Sear works with her photographs as if they were veils, layering multiple images to create evocative landscapes, each delicately inscribed with a figure. She describes her approach as “a double time of image making,” referring to the instant during which she takes each photograph and the time during which she superimposes her photographic images. By deliberately combining photographs taken at different times and in different locations, Sear plays with the notion of site-specificity and the reliability of the camera as a documentary recording device.
British, b. 1955, based in Wales, United Kingdom