Artist Statement

ARTIST STATEMENT

I originally trained as an architect and was influenced by extensive traveling and work in Japan since the early 1990s. The clarity, simplicity, reduction, and omnipresent spirit of nature in traditional Japanese culture, in which a distinct sense of beauty is revealed, fascinates me. I studied the technique of sumi-e, Japanese inkwash painting, which sharpened my perception for the composition of color and form. And in the aesthetic concept of wabi-sabi I discovered beauty as the ultimate acceptance of transience, imperfection, and vulnerability. Wabi-sabi objects invite contemplation. Reduced, without poetry falling by the wayside, their inimitable essence emerges, laying bare hidden dimensions under the surface.

My photographic portraits fathom the essence and concealed structures of any living organism. In this process the fleeting of nature becomes a metaphor. My search for the essence of an object involves a lively exchange with scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Freie Universität Berlin. Extensive research and experimentation helped me finally to discover a way to depict the inner architecture of tulips.

My practice is essentially analog and consists of a lengthy and meticulous process of preparing each flower for the moment of the photograph. Each photograph is an encounter with a particular flower at a particular time. Colors and shapes are constantly evolving. Finding the right moment requires great patience, usually many weeks or months, since each day and hour of the ageing process discloses a different perspective. This slow process of intimate observation enables me to capture the ideal – the precise instant when the flower reflects its most delicate state, poised between being and passing away.

The implementation of my latest series “Fairies I-VI” represents the artistic result of years of experimentation and testing. Research and the practice of biological methodology turned my studio into a kind of laboratory. During the drying process I was also able to extract the color from the plants. At the same time, I created colored liquids based on the concentrated, water soluble plant pigments, anthocyanins. These arduously extracted colors are then carefully reintroduced to the faded plant tissues and given space to again unfurl. The interaction between color and form becomes a poetic dance that also reveals the hidden alchemy present in all living matter.

“Color has become abstraction, creating its own idiom following the laws of nature and in the alternation of movement, gravity, and flow, and now struggling with forms of the plant for an equal footing in the picture. As in music, the sounds dance around the instruments. Who can say what is plant, what is nature, what is human hand? Everything unites before our eyes in one image, the image of a tulip by Kathrin Linkersdorff, who is listening to its silent whisper.” (Jens Komossa)