Hidden Dragon (Florescence)

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Edition of 50


40 x 40 cm paper size
35 x 34.37 cm image size

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NB: This is a Lambda print on C-type photographic paper in an edition of 50. All our prints come with a certificate signed by the artist and a unique edition number. The prints are produced with a white border around the photograph to allow for framing. We also have included some cotton gloves to protect the print during handling.

While at University, Jo Holland discovered a fascination with the origins of photography and traditional analogue methods of recording light directly onto paper. Experimentation with projecting colour light in the darkroom and macro photography led Jo to develop her own unique camera-less method of making her art.

Without the intermediary of a camera or negative she uses a combination of objects and light to directly expose through a focusing lens onto ilfocrome paper, creating a lush positive image.

The orchid series "Florescence" was inspired by Jo's own love of the plant (the title means the condition, or period of blooming). Drawn to its beauty and exotic characteristics she worked closely with the Orchid Society in Leeds, creating images from specimens provided by the society's collectors. First exhibited at the British Orchid Society Conference in 2000, the series was later shown at the Leeds Art gallery in 2001.

Working with such fragile objects requires both patience and a degree of fanaticism. The tortuous process of setting the flower into the correct position, ensuring it doesn't move with the slightest breeze or wilt under the heat of the lights means Jo must work quickly. It is so easy for something to go wrong in the process that these images can often take weeks of painstaking work in the darkroom to perfect. Yet the finished result, so exquisite in its simplicity, belies the complicated story of its making.

With simple manipulation of the depth of field, Jo can knock back or pull forward the point of interest to enhance the three dimensional representation of the flower. Her use of intense light gives luminosity to the petals and an intimacy that lays bare the flower by revealing its inner secrets.

Difficult to cultivate, orchids hold an allure for botanical collectors, representing the pinnacle of achievement and often becoming an obsession, even an addiction for many an orchid lover.

Artist's video and more information