Flower Power

Imagine you are flying over a desert. Far below you see only a brownish-yellow haze. You do not, or cannot, see the razor-ridged dunes, the sharply delineated curves of light and shade, the beautifully rippled and granular sand or the delicate footprints of some tiny mammal foraging for prey.

Looking at everyday flowers is much the same. To the extent you look at all, you see their size, shape and colour, you may even know their name, but little more.

In this series of photographs I try to redress that. I seek to show that the most common blooms, even those we might be tempted to dismiss as weeds, are actually miracles in miniature, paragons of perfection.

Thistles. A sunflower. A rose. A dahlia. I photographed each 200 times, using technology that changed the focus of each shot by a mere hair’s breadth. I conflated those 200 frames, then enlarged the composite, three-dimensional photograph twenty-fold. I made a small flower, shorter than a thumb, fully a metre wide so you can see every stamen and filament, every sepal and carpel, every tiny speck of pollen in microscopic detail. Much as a bee or an insect might see them.

These floral portraits are the result. They reveal the fantastical, other-worldly designs behind each bloom - designs so infinitely complex, intricate and exotic that it is hard to imagine they were not the creation of some external agency or intelligence.

They unveil the sensuous patterns and stunning symmetries of each flower, and the subtly differing textures of its component parts. They reveal in their full glory the many and varied hues of its dazzling, luminous colours.

There are no distractions, no diversions, no extraneous details - just common or garden flowers seen as seldom before. The photographs render the ordinary extraordinary, the mundane breathtaking.