Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Thirty-Two

Moleskine accordion book.

The plumeria is a difficult blossom, thick, gooey in its drying, and difficult to fit into a book. Disappointing also, as its colour and caramel-sweet fragrance slip away. This particular bloom, whose creamy petals caught my eye, was picked off the ground in Hawaii. A christmas get away. A few thick pages later, there is bark from the eucalyptus forest and a tiny perfect silver leaf from the crater of Haleakalā. Some large tropical leaf, glossy and veined, found on a sand pathway, has been cut to fit in exactly.

What must it have been like to arrive at the Hawaiian archipelago as a naturalist? Surely you would have the desire to complete a herbarium - trying to catalogue or collect everything. Would you hope to be exhaustive, an exuberant ambition that you would abandon in the face of reality, at which point you would settle for cataloguing only the strange and unusual?

The desire to make a book of the plant world is not new. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew apparently have a manuscript page with dried plants (a herbarium sheet) made by Ptolomy that dates back to 305 BC.

Perhaps rather than photographs, we should document the passage of time with an index of plants.

Look inside.

Here is a list of books.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Colin Whitworth

Colin Whitworth, technician, taken November 7, 2012.

I think a book of photographs is the most coherent way of putting across your ideas, some argument you are making about the way you see. Putting a book together, for me, has been the strongest way of using photography. But I also love the experience of a print, standing in front of something which is at an appropriate scale, so that you can dwell again in the experience. Photography has this incredible characteristic of illusion, presenting an illusion of deep space with many things going on. It stills time in such a way that if you can stand in front of it and immerse yourself in the experience it describes, you can loose yourself in there. I look for that kind of opportunity, where the photographer has been generous enough in how they have been entranced in their moment, that I have an opportunity to stand in their shoes.

Joel Meyerowitz 

Here is an index of portraits.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Thirty-One

Book Thirty-One
April 2003 - January 2004
Hardcover Notebook
Kept while in Grantham's Landing, London, Canada and Hawaii
5.5" x 3.5" 192 pages. 

"The task of writing consists primarily in recognizing the distance between oneself and the things around one. It is not sensitivity one needs but a yardstick." 
"'To those of gloomy spirit come only gloomy dreams. And those with even gloomier spirits don't even have dreams.' Thats what my grandmother always said. 
"The night my grandmother died the very first thing I did was reach out and close her eyes. And as I drew her eyelids down, the dreams of her seventy-nine years quietly dispersed like a passing summer shower on a shopping street, leaving not a thing behind."

Haruki Murakami Hear the Wind Sing

Look inside.

Here is an index of books.