“The Nature of this Flower is to Bloom”
- Alice Walker -
Inspired by the rare nineteenth century portraits of black Victorian women such as Sarah Forbes Bonetta and other portraits which were revealed by archive and research centre Autograph ABP in London, the series ‘BLOOM' brings to the fore the hidden black presence in Victorian Britain. Few archival images of black Victorian women in Europe exist. And most of the photographed sitters are left unidentified, cloaking the women in mystery for all of time. By looking at photography especially as a response of permanence, this series aims at acknowledging
their existence and influence on British/ European culture and society.
‘Bloom’ is a dialogue between both contemporary and century-old photographs (also visually) and aims to restore the women to cultural memory and assume their rightful place in history.
In this body of work flowers and blooming are used as a metaphor for human nature in which - like seeds - human potentialities thrive when given the conditions to sprout and bloom.
The Victorians' most loved motifs were flowers and as pioneers in photography they surrounded their special family portraits with floral and artistic beauty. Also included in this body of work are collaged works of the original photographs, adorned with flowers and hand tinted (painted).
Enquiry for Bloom, 2020
Bloom Figures - 2020
100 x 150 cm
Photography on Hahnemuhle Photo Pearl in natural walnut floater frame