Botanischer Gärten und Botanisches Museum, Berlin
Leica Q: ƒ/13 @1/1000 ISO:100 Daylight & Flash (on, fired)
Grass has provided a rich source of exciting visual opportunities for my picture making, either in colour and black and white. I am drawn to delicacy of the marks through this picture, it reminds me of my drawing. A silk web of lines and tones throughout the picture. I had visited this exact location the day before, during a bright clear day when there was not a cloud in the sky. Standing on my 3rd floor balcony the following morning, I was still thinking about the pictures I had made the previous day of the grass. It was overcast, which means an interesting background, so I returned.
Reducing everything to a metaphor for something else is a constant frustration of photography Impressionistic, or surreal are two constant examples. Susan Sontag talks about the language used to talk about photography and the struggle to find a vocabulary that truly reflects the photographic image. Drawing on concepts of time and mortality she states that everything “Is a wedding picture of sorts”
I realise that I have read very few books on photography or photographers but have read widely on the visual arts, having taught at the National Gallery for over 27 years. It is true to me that often the language of photography is lifted from painting. Part of my learning as a photographer is to think about what it is I am making and the language I use to describe it. One of the most regular
comments on my practice is that I move people, either with the beauty or the dramatic theatricality of my pictures. They are a staged authenticity. This is how I choose to see these subjects. I am not saying “why is it that no one else can see this?” that will feel grotesque, I am stating simply that “this is how I see this grass”
A week later the grass in this was gone.