Thursday, 20 February 2014

Some lovely flowers: a 'complex composition'.

This is Ranunculus ficaria "Brazen Hussy", Narcissus tazetta "Minnow", and Primula polyantha "Dawn Ansell" all getting up in each others' shit.

It was my submission for the 'complex composition' module of the Dip. B.I. course last year. It was around this time I was finally able to articulate the devastating truth that there is absolutely no way I will ever ever be able to make anything remotely as nice as anything that actually grows, but that that was ok because I might eventually make a nice job of having a lovely dialogue with things, which might be more to the point anyway.

It was a kind of dry run of how to think about putting live material together in a convincing way - along the lines of Durer's "Great piece of turf",  using pretty flowers instead of an ecologically coherent bunch of specimens.  I was never a massive fan of the horticulturally beautified plant in general before this (compared to my beloved weeds) but spending that month or two looking at these delightful plants was an opportunity to think in a more nuanced way about our instrumental relations with other organisms. In fact the plants themselves are just as full of their own life-force as any other plant or for that matter you or I.   fact they are genuinely superior beings, though perhaps superior only to me, I can't speak for you, or the other plants. In fact the celandine and the primrose are even cheerfully surviving the dingy Leith winter in my tenement shared garden, whose soil is composed of heavy clay and the rubble from the outside lavvies that were only replaced by indoor ones in the 70's. Most of the rest of us are looking a bit battered and peely-wally at this point in February round here.

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