I am a photographic artist, specialising in atmospheric and evocative images inspired by flowers and foliage and the natural world. Nature is good for the soul, and I am looking to capture some of its beauty and harmony in my work.
My style is painterly and impressionistic, combining a strong sense of colour and form with an interest in textural effects and abstraction. I use soft focus, multiple exposure, and camera movement to create images with a fluid, organic feel, and am often drawn to intimate close-up details.
My work is about interpretation and suggestion, with inspiration coming from Impressionist painters including Monet and Van Gogh, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s sensual flowers and abstracts, as well as contemporary photographers Paul Kenny, Valda Bailey and Doug Chinnery.
I have gained an Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society and have won 1st prize in the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year competition.
HANA YOKU = FLOWER BATHING
Nature both inspires my photography and restores my soul. Particularly in recent difficult times. Peaceful, calming, uplifting, being in Nature can still my mind and renew my spirit. I am both soothed and invigorated as well as filled with joy. Looking to capture these feelings, I started by exploring the Japanese practice of “Shinrin Yoku” – or Forest Bathing, which is immersing yourself in a mindful way in woodland and Nature to reduce stress and create a feeling of wellbeing. But for me there was something missing – a specific focus on the delights and benefits of flowers and blossom. A different sensory experience, with the richness of colour in particular, but also delicacy of design, lightness and airiness, and of course a transient beauty.
So I have invented a new term – that of “Hana Yoku” or Flower Bathing. Immersing myself in flower borders at Kew Gardens, I let my senses float. I felt surrounded by waves of colour, adrift in a sea of blooms. The watery analogy became the focus of my experience, and the sensation I wanted to capture. Fluidity and flow, the flowers waving and dancing as if underwater, softly melting together. I was awash in nature’s palette – truly bathing in flowers.
There were light, bright, sun-kissed areas near the surface, then swirling colours like sea anemones in the waves, and deep mysterious tones in the depths. All contributing to the theme of not showing something simply for what it is, but showing what else it is.
Further inspiration came from fragments of a poem, The Song of the Flower by Khalil Gibran which reinforced to me all the positive emotional benefits of flowers in Nature.
I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
. . . .
The plains are decorated
With my beautiful colours
. . . .
I dance to the rhythmic swaying of the grass
. . . .
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.
But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.