Flora fantastica – photographic impulses for further thought
Maria Sibylla Merian's plant studies led me to a photographic series focused on plants in Europe's botanical gardens. To me these images represent the mysterious elixir of life and the sensuality of emotions, whilst anybody is invited to discover their own meanings.
My photographs guided me from a fascination for the vivid beauty and diversity of plants from all continents to the question of the origin of European botanical gardens and thus to colonial history.
We perceive botanical gardens as oases of tranquility and discovery. Yet, like many museums, they embody sites of European colonial history, a fact not yet widely recognized. The exploitation of the former colonies is closely linked to our botanical gardens.
The series challenges me to reflect on the aesthetic, subconcious and historic levels of flora – ongoing.