The Secret Life of Plants
This was my pandemic project. In 2020 covid 19 had us sheltering in place in our homes for months on end. I figured I better keep busy as much as possible so my mind wouldn’t dwell on the discouraging news I heard every night on TV. By necessity I wanted a photography project that I could do from home. This actually wasn’t too much of a stretch since my last few photography endeavors used the inside of my condo as a backdrop. I decided to photograph something that was plentiful and easily obtained during a pandemic; flowers and other plants.
For many months in the summer I had access to flowers growing around the neighbourhood and as winter approached there were flowers for anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions. When I was really desperate I would purchase an unusual flower from a florist but tried to avoid doing that very often. I photographed the flowers in extreme closeup to show the structures that we don’t normally see with a quick glance. The minute details of stamens, stigmas, styles and pollen tubes were fascinating, as were the surfaces of some of the leaves.
As I moved in even closer I detected a secret life going on in the flowers and leaves. I witnessed lamb’s ear leaves with runway-like markings to guide landing insects, pollen distribution techniques which were amazing, fibres covering leaves which were a great source for miniature spinning wheels, flower heads that had hidden mazes, and some flowers that controlled minute activity with road markings. Plants healed their physical wounds with whatever help they could get. Games broke out when plants were extremely bored.
Plants are very compassionate. Christmas holly leaves curved their thorns over when a balloon floated too close to them. Another plant tried to save a sickly, shriveling neighbour by sending it healing energy and love flowed freely between plants.
All in all I wanted the flowers and plants to reflect a sense of fun and healing.