Still Life

Tulips

Dying, the petals of a bunch of tulips turn papery whilst the stem and leaf remain as they were. These contrasting two aspects of the dying tulip, the petrified and the still living stem existing together create of visual representation of life and death.

Twice Around the World

Everyday in the supermarket we fill our trolleys and baskets with “fresh” vegetables and fruit with little or no though as to how long and how far the produce has travelled to reach Ireland.

Using the classic form of still life, depicted in a contemporary manner, each image contains a single exotic fruit. The travel time from farm to supermarket for most of the fruits depicted would be in the region of a week. The distances travelled enormous. Even the most basic fruit such as apples generally come from South Africa. In addition to the fruit, many of the vegetables we consume daily are also sourced outside Ireland.

In a time of mounting concern about global warming, the combined carbon footprint of the fruit in the bowl and in the individual images is enormous, the cumulative total of kilometres travelled – 83,219.64 km – being sufficient to encircle the world twice at the Equator.

Many cookbooks and recipes use fruits such as those depicted in recipes without a thought for the carbon footprint involved. On the other hands, the use of these fruits gives employment in the producing countries and feeds into the economies of those countries.

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Karl Blossfeldt taught design at the School of Decorative Arts in Berlin. As a teaching aid, he used photography to make large images of plants in order to reveal their amazing structures, normally invisible to the naked eye. In 1928 he produced a highly successful book of these images called “Urformen der Kunst”. “The plant never lapses inter mere arid functionalism, it fashions and shapes according to logic and suitability, and with its primeval force compels everything to attain the highest artistic form”. Karl Blossfeldt.

In many gardens in late November there remain, hidden amongst the dead leaves, small flashes of colour. These are the last remains of the garden’s summer glory. Tapping into the legacy of Karl Blossfeldt, the images in the images reveal the inner intricasies of the leaves and flowers gleaned from a garden in late November. Unlike Blossfeldt, who used photography to create his images, these images were created using a flatbed scanner, which permitted them to be made at such a high resolution that it was possible to obtain images from sections of each image as small as square cm.

All images © Grace Hall Photography 2009 – 2015