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.
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.
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.
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/Benson Media
all images courtesy of Daniel Shipp