daucus carota, the state of sleeping plants: a study in the decay of vegetation


I’ve begun a new series of non-traditional macro photography using a DIY macro lens.

sofa art

About the state of sleeping plants: a study in the decay of vegetation

The State of Sleeping Plants explores the plant world in decomposition through chance and a DIY (do-it-yourself) macro lens. I am fascinated by the visual resemblances of plant matter during stages of decay to fantasy and science fiction world creations. Using a DIY (do-it-yourself) crafted lens I go hunting in gardens, parks and ravines for the “doesn’t that look like…” moments of decaying plant matter and then photograph the similarity not as a specimen, but as a work of art. Queen Anne’s Lace becomes a HR Giger monster, Speared Thistle become a carnivorous orb and Milk Weed takes on the life of Devil’s Snare.


My DIY lens lacks traditional depth of field and a focusing mechanism. The search for subject matter is all about time of day, weather conditions and what I see as I’m visually foraging through the eye piece of my camera.

“Inside Greenwich-Mohawk Brownfield”: an exhibit

I have been invited to show some of my photographs at the 4TH ANNUAL Brownfield Forum: Brownfield Redevelopment & the Community. If you are in Brantford on Nov. 9, drop by the Brantford Polish Hall, 154 Pearl Street to see my work and photos by The Brantford Camera Club.

Although I didn’t “get inside”, I did tour the property of the Greenwich-Mohawk Brownfield/formerly the Massey-Ferguson, Massey-Harris and Cockshutt Plow industrial campus – in the pouring rain during the sites “doors open” last May.brantford_greenwich_mohawk


For more information:
519-759-4150 ext. 2334

Modern Canadian Interiors Reviewed!

Today I discovered a glowing  review of the book Modern Canadian Interiors that the TLR Club (of which i am a member) published this May on the Hotshot* blog.

MCI book coverAnd without further ado here is the review!

Modern Canadian Interiors by Jacqueline Bennett

Modern Canadian Interiors (2010) is the first publication by the TLR Club to highlight a rich collection of photography and carefully executed research. The TLR Club (Twin Lens Reflex) consists of five photographers; Alejandro Valencia, Colin Savage, Kevin McBride, Martin Helmut Reis and Richelle Forsey.

An interesting and somewhat ironic name choice- Modern Canadian Interiors suggests an entirely different context than the works reveal. Readers may be surprised to learn the TLR Club’s collection of photography explores technically “vacant structures” and in some cases condemned buildings to expose a whole new world of still-life occurring behind the seemingly abandoned walls. There is a surprising wealth of interesting artifacts, graffiti, and spaces still obviously used by squatters, thrill seekers and the like, revealing that these buildings are anything but vacant.

What is not surprising is that the TLR Club members are much more than photographers; they are part of a larger community known as Urban Explorers, which by definition are, “ [people] who explore restricted urban areas such as abandonments, tunnels, roofs, construction sites, etc.” (www.urbanexplorers.net). In MCI viewers get a behind the scenes look into the many places in our communities that have been left to crumble in order to make room for “new” infrastructures and gentrification to take place. Andrew Shaver notes in his foreword that, “while there is a degree of activism that is evident in the choices of [the TLR Club’s] photographic subjects, theirs is an implicit, not explicit argument” (p. 7, A. Shaver) of social and economic urban decay.

Beyond the context of the MCI collection is the remarkable composition which beautifully highlights the thick textures of peeling paint, the varying degree of lighting that creeps in, and an assortment of items left behind that reference past occupants. Each page leads to a story greater than the last. An added feature for true art historians is found on the last pages which detail the histories and fate of each structure.

In conclusion, whether you are looking for beautiful conversation pieces, interested in the histories of abandoned buildings or a true thrill seeker at heart, this publication is sure to satisfy an array of audiences interested in Canadian photography at its best.

By: Jacqueline Bennett