28th July – 9th Sept 2012
Simon Robinson is originally from New Zealand but now lives in south west Scotland. This exhibition presents the full series of his extraordinary studies of plants - an unexpected view of a different world.
A few years ago I bought a book by Karl Blossfeldt. It was a compilation of his books from the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Blossfeldt was an art teacher who made photographs of plants which he used as teaching aids for his students. He ended up producing three very successful books from these images.
Duing the summer of 2010 my girlfiend and I were doing some gardening and one particular poppy caught my eye. It hadn’t flowered yet and the head was still hanging down, this was framed by a large leaf which (to me) gave the impression of a ballet dancer. So I did what any good photographer would do - I cut it off, took it inside and photographed it. This was the image that started my botanic project. Over the next couple of years I continued to keep an eye out for plants with interesting shapes that would lend themselves to the type of photographs I wanted to make. My aim is not to produce straight documentary photographs of the plants but to show the patterns, shapes, symmetry and architectural qualities that exist in nature around us. To this end I will sometimes remove petals and leaves to expose what’s beneath.
My subjects have included flowers, leaves, seed heads, pods, buds, roots, shoots and stems. I started out photographing plants from our garden and then progressed to neigbours gardens and the rest of the village. I also picked up some seed pods from Mexico when we went there in 2010. Earlier this year I contacted the Glasgow Botanic Gardens in the hope of acquiring more unusual plant matter. I went up there one lunchtime and was taken around by the Assistant Curator (now Head Curator) Stephen Herrington. I came away with a couple of bags of potential subjects which I am still in the process of photographing.