Botanical Inquiry Combines Common Plants With Urban Grit for Beautiful Results.

Daniel Shipp Botanical Inquiry

The Botanical Inquiry Photo Series by Daniel Shipp was named the Fine Art category Series Winner in the 2017 Magnum Photography Awards. Once you see them, you’ll know why. The Australian photographer takes common and unremarkable flora and sets it against an urban backdrop to create fictional environments with a hauntingly beautiful feel.

Botanical Inquiry Photo Series by Daniel Shipp

The painterly images juxtapose urban and industrial structures such as scaffolding, utility poles, antennae, satellite dishes and street lamps with common plants set against ominous skies to result in eerie, but compelling, fictional scenes.

Sheltered Urban Extremity © Daniel Shipp
Defunct Industrial Site © Daniel Shipp
Arterial Road Duct © Daniel Shipp
Residential Embankment © Daniel Shipp
Adjacent to Freeway © Daniel Shipp
Idle Railway Land © Daniel Shipp
Utilities Access Route © Daniel Shipp
Established Supply Corridor © Daniel Shipp
Regeneration at Perimeter © Daniel Shipp
Rezoned Industrial Division © Daniel Shipp
Mixed Use Enclosure © Daniel Shipp
North Facing Gradient © Daniel Shipp
Southern Remedial Exclusion © Daniel Shipp

Artist’s Statement – Botanical Inquiry 2014-2015

Botanical Inquiry is a series of photographic dioramas that shuffle nature, geography, and physics into familiar but fictional environments.

botanical inquiry gallery view

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.

daniel schipp

By manipulating the optical and staging properties of photography with an analogue machine that I have constructed, I have produced these studio based images in camera rather using Photoshop compositing. They rely exclusively on the singular perspective of the camera to render their mechanics invisible.

This is a short look into the process of making the ‘Botanical Inquiry’ series. The video was created by Elliot Toms.

all images courtesy of Daniel Shipp

Daniel Shipp