Splendid Isolation


    In Europe, I focused on the representation of plants and nature in their urban surroundings as a part of my visual research into the People-Plant Relationships [1] - the role of plants in human culture. Instead of representing people in my photographs, I often use the image of architecture, while the image of a plant is meant as a symbol of nature. Influenced by the thoughts of Robert Smithson [2],  
    it’s not only the nature I’m interested in, but also the space where nature interacts with architecture.  
    In urban landscapes and parks, I've focused especially on natural spaces - which become overgrown, due to neglect and develop a life of their own ("A heart for King Kong"). I depict a spatial field between distance and proximity in my photographs, a dialogue of civilization and wilderness. 
    While working on my Master of Research in Antwerp 2010/11, I found the origin of this culture-nature relationship within Victorian landscape gardens and specifically Victorian conservatories. "As an increasingly common but distinctive social space, the conservatory was balanced, sometimes literally and always symbolically, between culture (formal reception room) and nature (the garden)." [3]  
    My recent work, THE CURE PROJECT (includes the photo series: "The Tropical Department", "A Lady's Walk", "A Hope of Relief and Cure" and "Nest of Gladness"), is, on the one hand, visual research on Victorian landscape architecture and the Victorian conservatory. On the other hand, the project reflects the settings in Lewis Carroll's novel "Alice's Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass", regarding the restriction of a woman's life and the liberation of their Victorian social conventions. Here the natural landscape might provide an escape, another home — outside the Victorian country house.  


    [3] Margaret Flanders Darby, Joseph Paxton's Water Lily from Bourgeois and Aristocratic Cultural Encounters in Garden Art, 1550-1850, edited by Michael Conan Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. 2002