The botanical objects I have brought into the home are stopped in transformation. Their location is often questionable and their capacity for self-motivation is ambiguous. Fluent in a secret language that’s rich in mythic rawness, they crawl, branch, sprout and mimic their surroundings. Domesticated and anthropomorphized, leaves and seeds obtain a poetic vitality through their relationship to the home – a space that welcomes imaginative rediscovery.
Given my desire to experience nature firsthand, I prepare for each photograph with a sensory exploration. It is only after I have altered the botanical material, pulled it apart and stripped leaves from its stem, that I can find in nature something new, something different and something unexpected. As Pierre Mabille notes in The Mirror of the Marvelous, “Alice’s adventures in the rabbit burrow or through the mantelpiece mirror encourage us to search for other gaps where we can penetrate the marvelous.” Like Alice, I’m hoping to find my portal into reverie.
We shelter ourselves both with and from nature but we are still part of its world. Within the home sunlight serves as a constant reminder of nature’s transience. Its luminous, shimmering and prismatic effects readily trigger the thoughts and daydreams of quiet rooms. The home is an unbounded interior; within its walls one’s mind can drift and worlds can arise. Leaves, seeds and buds I use become swarms and armies descending upon furniture. They respond to and are altered by the home’s architecture and its resident. Reclaiming their space, the natural objects remind the furniture of the life it once held. With newly acquired botanical inhabitants the home transforms into a landscape. Curtains are large open skies and the seat of a chair is an open field. These invitations to reverie are most welcome in the space of the photograph – an ideal place for the construction of new worlds. – Sarah Stonefoot