If Tim Burton, with his dark, romantic, gothic aesthetic were to take photographs of plants, no doubt they would look and feel something like this. ‘Botanical Inquiry’ is a darkly beautiful series of photographic studies by
‘Botanical Inquiry’ is a rich, poignant celebration of the overlooked
Shipp said the ambiguous point of view of his images is designed to be as unsettling as it is seductive, challenging the viewer’s perspective of the common plants or “weeds” they walk past every day.
“In these compositions, the physical characteristics of the unremarkable plants I have collected become storytelling elements which, when staged against the backdrop of common urban environments, explore the quietly menacing effect that humans have on the natural world. From a subjective and ambiguous point of view, we witness the plants’ ability to adapt and survive,” Shipp said.
Through his authentic, intuitive process, Shipp endeavours to create images with a narrative that viewers can feel. Heavily inspired by cinema, his influences range from vintage illustration to visual effects in films from the eighties. By manipulating the optical and staging properties of photography with an analogue “machine” that he has constructed, he has produced these studio-based images “in camera” rather than using Photoshop compositing. They rely exclusively on the singular perspective of the camera to render their mechanics invisible.
Shipp is interested in creating images with a narrative that you can feel. Building emotion into his images makes the process very intuitive and extremely slow. The formal qualities of his work reflect the
Winner of the Magnum Photo Awards Fine Art Category 2017, Shipp’s work has been described as being as unsettling as it is seductive. In past years he has collaborated on projects with Future Classic Music, Rosemount Australian Fashion Week and Oxfam/Cirque de Soleil.
‘Botanical Inquiry’ will be exhibited at
Exhibition runs from 16 May to 2 June 2018.