The Secret Life of Flowers
Sweet-smelling yet sometimes deadly, flowers are our way of celebrating birth and death, happiness and grief, pain and healing, innocence and age, love, marriage and anniversaries. They decorate our lawns and tables, our prom dresses and tuxedo lapels, we even eat them. The language of flowers goes far deeper than we realize. They are sensual and mysterious, erotic and evocative-- they are sex organs, after all. Fertile, usually with both male and female parts, they are a life force.
Flowers stimulate our senses. We see saturated colors and the tints, tones and shades of the prism--pink, red, orange, green, yellow and sometimes blue and purple. We see the alluring mathematical curve of a petal or the stamen. We smell the fragrance, mostly sweet, fruity or spicy--fields are grown in France to make fine perfumes. We can touch velvety petals and sometimes very prickly leaves or stems. We taste the petals and leaves in teas and the honey made by bees who suck the nectar.
I thought I knew about flowers until I began making giant digital images. I learned about their inner life, the follicles, bits of pollen, tiny hairs and veins--magnified many times, so the cells are nearly seen--all in a way that looking at the real flower cannot do.
Each flower is unveiled, unwrapped, undressed and transformed into a huge digital file and printed greatly enlarged on paper or cloth with ink. Hidden secrets are exposed and these living magnificent creations are memorialized in an art form. Their proportions are of arithmetical perfection using the golden ratio, so the art of design is natural.
We think of flowers as frivolous with very short lives, but these enlargements show clearly the hard work that goes into producing a blossom. We are drawn into the heart of the flower to reveal a little-known world: the Secret Life of Flowers.
CAROLYN BROWN PHOTOGRAPHER