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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Forever Fleeting

Forever Fleeting is on display at The Bermuda Society of Arts until December 8th. If you do get a chance to stop by, I'd love to know what you think... 
Flowers have always brought me immeasurable joy and have long been my muses. Almost three years ago, I started working with Nikki at Petals... We made a deal - I’d photograph each week’s new arrivals, help her with the Petals website, blog and instagram and in return take flowers. What a heavenly exchange! Then Nikki decided to open a shop. We worked together tirelessly to create a beautiful, organic space that would highlight the beauty of the blooms. At the front is a little gallery space featuring vases, scented candles, a few other flower goodies and some of my artwork. 
Dustin Jose Francisco has been working at Petals for almost a year and each time I visit the shop, he has made another fabulous creation. Like me, he finds beauty in all stages of a plant’s journey. For the last few years Wabi Sabi has been a prominent theme in my work. The Japanese philosophy finds beauty in imperfection and reveres the dents, scratches and all other marks that time, weather and loving use create. It appreciates transience and the natural cycle of life – growth, decay and death. It admires the bud as much as the bloom, which then fades to become the seed that creates a new flower. This exhibition is a collaboration featuring flowers from Petals in the various stages between bloom and bud.
Each canvas is individually prepared with several layers of texture giving every piece a unique surface. They are painted with an iridescent paint so the archivally printed photographs shimmer. The process is laborious and takes about three weeks as each layer must dry completely. In the last step, they are coated with a uv protective polyurethene with a dash of sparkle.
I love doing commissions, so if there is a piece that you love but would like it in a different size, please let me know...
Scabiosa 23x22
Peonies 20x20
Under the Aster 12x24

Ranunculus 23x32
Frolicking Fiddleheads 14x11
Etoiles II 14x11
Poppy in the Sun 10x10
Anemones 6x6
Poppy 6x6
The Skeletpn's Shadow 6x6
Make a Wish 6x6
Orchids 12x12
Lilacs 8x8
Heaveb Scent 8x8
Astrantia 10x10
Etoiles I 10x10
Fiddlehead Heart 12x12
Anemone 8x8
The Little Frog 8x8
The Red Parrot 12x12

I reached out to Nikki Begg at Petals a couple months ago to ask if they might be interested in collaborating. I am so grateful she thought it was a fabulous idea. Dustin José Francisco has been working at Petals for about a year. He is so creative and this exhibition enabled him to really show off his incredible talent. His stunning creations are a wonderful compliment to the flower imagery.

                                          In the Grotto 24x12

After I injured my knees and had to stop ballet I found my passion for photography and wanted to shoot fashion, but I wanted to live in Bermuda more. So Haute Couture was put aside for the seaside. To feed my creative hunger I created a portrait session that merges fashion, art and portraiture - Lumiere.
I have been photographing women for almost 25 years. I started with my friends in university, and when they got bored I reluctantly turned the camera upon myself. This enabled me to experiment and to play with light. Being a little vain, I learned how truly important light is; that light is what matters most in a photograph. When I was living in London a few years ago, I shot many self portraits. Reflections in windows mostly, but for my blog I decided that I needed a photo that actually showed my face. The flat had huge windows and although it was a grey day, there was beautiful silvery light flooding in. Someone wrote a comment about the photo saying that I had become a master of Photoshop. “No”, I replied, “A master of light.”
However, I do continue to hone my Photoshop skills and spend countless hours editing as I feel that processing the image is as important as the initial taking of the photograph. No two photographs are processed in the same way, so each is a unique piece of art.
Every Lumiere Portrait session is individually tailored, to create something sensational, and meaningful. Some women want their portraits to be soft, glamorous and graceful, others want dramatic, dark and edgy. I strive not only to capture beautiful images, but also to make the experience enjoyable. 
“The photo shoot was really empowering and much more in many ways than I expected. I was pampered beforehand with hair, make-up and a manicure. And then Amanda was just fabulous in directing as I had no idea what to do. But soon, I felt completely relaxed and it was incredibly freeing to just enjoy being a woman. I am thrilled with the magic she weaved with these images and am so glad I did it; it was a once in a lifetime experience to indulge in and so worth it. Every woman should have a chance to feel this special! Thank you Amanda x”
I wanted to write whilst still flying high from the day of the shoot - floating on the excitement, joy, anticipation and euphoria of playing dress-up and being pampered. But as is the way with a fast-paced life, once you had declared “that’s a wrap” I hurriedly changed into my normal clothes and dashed to an evening of work - still with my full make-up and coiffed hair. Little did I know that a day ‘all about me’ would leave me with such a glow and even lead to a marriage proposal from a stranger, a bouquet of flowers from my husband and lots of compliments. It was a wonderful end a very special day!”
The collection of Lumiere Portraits in this exhibition was created with the Forever Fleeting theme. However, I did ask what their favourite flowers and colours are. When creating Lumiere Portrait sessions with clients, we work together to create an experience and images that reflect their individual character. 
 Forever Floating 20x20
Much of the story is created after the shoot as illustrated above and later. Layer upon layer is added to create magic which I hope is believable. The ultimate compliment is to be asked where a photograph was taken. Sometimes everything falls into place easily, and other times it is a struggle. Unless I have a completely clear idea at the beginning, it can be extremely difficult. In this collection I struggled with ‘She Sprouted Love’ and ‘Stargazing’, but in the end they are two of my favourite pieces.
 Pentamerous 18x24
 Attitude en l'Air 24x18
 Carefree Carnations 24x12

 She Sprouted Love 14x18
 Indigo 16x16
 Antheia 20x10
 Stargazing 16x16
Winter is the best time for Lumiere Sessions, so if you are interested, get in touch and let's create something amazing!
The exhibition is up until December 8th at The Bermuda Society of Arts at City Hall. If you get a chance to stop in, I'd love to know what you think...

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