Richard Dawson answers a few frequently asked questions about his work and artistic practice.
Are these flower images for sale?
Yes, they are available in 2 sizes and editions; a larger size approx 100cm width, with an edition of 5
and a smaller size approx 50 cm width, with edition of 75.
How are they made? What are they?
These aren’t traditional photographs as you may first think, i haven’t used a camera, i have used a large flat bed scanner.
This technique is called scanography.
There are a number of reasons why, i love the hi-res HD nature of the images, you can see grains of pollen, strange liquids and veins on petals. The image goes straight into the computer there’s no image degrading process, a kind of purity.
The history of preserving flowers as pressed objects.
The destructive nature of squashing the flower onto the glass of the scanner, that creates a kind of energy and movement to the subject. Even though it takes a long time to scan each image, they can look like they have been caught in a split second, of an explosion.
How did you come up with this and when?
After leaving St. Martins Art College, in the mid 90’s, i Moved to Spitalfields in East London. Every Sunday there are lots of different markets around that area. One Sunday afternoon, walking down Columbia Road after the market had closed i notice the debris on the ground. Lots of mess and discarded flowers pressed into the road. As an artist i rather liked this and wanted to reproduce it some how.
At the time i was working in a repo house scanning and retouching photos. I was lucky enough to be working on top fashion photographer Nick Knight’s images, scanning and getting them ready for retouching. He shot amazing 10 x 8 transparencies, when these were scanned in the detail was incredible.I wanted this detail too but shooting 10 x 8 was very expensive, so i stumbled across the idea of scanning the actual object in, i thought this worked well as it enabled me to get that detail and more.
When did you first exhibit them?
The first show of these was in 2005, in the crumbling grandeur of the ‘Gallery Over the Navie’, Shoreditch Church, London.
Where do you get your plants and flowers from?
I’m trying to avoid florists and the usual places like that, as there’s a limited range that’s easily exhausted,
peoples back gardens and grow your own.