In a collaboration that marries the art of photography with the beauty of botany, the creative partners in life and work Kate Ballis and Tom Blachford present Influorescence, opening at Melbourne’s Gallerysmith in November.
Renowned for their individual achievements in fine art photography, this series marks the first time they’ve combined their artistic talents to explore the wonders of nature.
Nestled in the heart of Melbourne, Kate and Tom’s garden is a lush landscape of vibrant colours and verdant splendour. Drawing inspiration from the seasonal blooms that grace their garden, Influorescence embarks on a visual journey, capturing the beauty of flowers born from bulbs or seeds. These floral subjects are expertly framed within the confines of a black box studio, where ultraviolet light is harnessed to unveil the otherwise hidden intricacies of nature.
The collaboration is a harmonious fusion of Kate Ballis’s dedication to revealing the unseen and Tom Blachford’s mastery of the art of long-exposure photography. The result is simply exquisite. The larger-than-life images of individual flowers, illuminated by ultraviolet light, divulge the awe-inspiring details hidden within these natural marvels.
Bursting with an array of colours and dynamic movement, each blossom transforms into a celestial microcosm that evokes thoughts of colossal constellations and galaxies in the far reaches of the universe. The flowers twinkle like stars in the night sky, their pollen appearing as vivid supernovas.
As Ballis describes, “At scale on the wall, it looks like a giant planet. When looking at it, you’re reflecting on your place in the universe”. The series serves as a profound reminder of the interconnectedness of all living things and our place in the grandness of the universe.
To further enhance the otherworldly ambience, the botanical images are adorned with celestial names: Alcyone, Alpha Leonis, Andromeda, Arche, Iota Leonis, Pleione, Pollux, and Triton. The choice of names reflects the ethereal quality of the photographs, mirroring the grandeur of the cosmos within the confines of a single bloom.
Influorescence is the culmination of two springs and summers between 2021 and 2023.
3 November – 2 December
170-174 Abbotsford Street,
North Melbourne, NAARM 3051
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