Helen Sear, ‘Wild Flower Arrangement No. 2 (Daucus Carota)’, 2015, KLOMPCHING GALLERY

39.3"x39.3" image on 43.3"x43.3" sheet.
Printed on Hahnemühle Cotton Rag

Daucus Carota, wild carrot, bird's nest, bishop's lace and Queen Anne's lace, so named as the red flower in its center is thought to represent a droplet of blood, where the wife of Kings James I pricked herself while making lace. Another story refers to the earlier Anne Boleyn, the beheaded wife of King Henry VIII, the white flower representing the lace around her nece and the red center, the point of decapitation.

These wild flowers, found at the side of agricultural fields and roadside ditches were once popular as a contraceptive for women, and simultaneously in ancient ritual and spells, to increase sexual potency in men.

Helen Sear's Wild Flower Arrangements show the flower heads of Daucus Carota, at different stages of maturity—which often display at the same time on the same stem—and have been cut and rearranged in unnatural configurations, as constructed portraits. The complex beauty of the weed that thrives in wasteland, is heightened by its isolation within an interior space, reminiscent of the opulent surroundings of society portraiture.

Series: Wild Flower Arrangements

Signature: Signed, Dated, Titled, Numbered via Label.

Image rights: Helen Sear

Upcoming at Klompching Gallery: February–April, 2017.

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