Bruce Rae’s Flora as David Lillington writing in the October 1990 edition of “Arts Review” observes are “certainly they are not about gardening.” Rae’s flower images are not concerned with a Linnaean attempt to describe or classify, but uses flora as a vehicle to examine his own preoccupations with mortality- “I am interested in the point at which things emerge and then disappear; in the narrow span of existence between birth and death.”” The roses are open to interpretations which give them human attributes. It is possible to see them drooping, weeping, being young, middle aged or dying.”
In a formal sense Rae’s work concerns itself with balance, which is composition within the rectangle and tonality, which is a way of describing light. He believes that formal values are inseparable from the heart of his work.
He trained at Birmingham School of Photography in the mid nineteen sixties and at the Royal College of Art in the early nineteen seventies. His training at Birmingham was based on Commercial practice and believes without doubt that craft skills are central to any articulate Art practice. He uses wooden cameras of up to 10 inch by 8 inch formats and still uses traditional wet darkroom procedures.
The silver gelatin prints displayed here are in the main unrepeatable, most were made on a Kodak paper called Ektalure. Rae’s choice of materials contributes greatly to the distinct qualities of his work and most of his favoured choices are no longer available.
- Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Bibliotheque Nationale Paris
- Citi Bank, Nashville, USA, Ralph Lauren,
- Anderson PR Headquarters, Newcastle
- Kelly Hoppen, Arden & Anstruther,
- Texaco Collection of British Art, London
- Terry Jones
- Donna Karen
- Nina Campbell
- Paul Smith
- Michael Hoppen Gallery, London – Silver gelatin, flower prints in the print room, in conjunction with a Blossfeldt exhibition in the main gallery, 1996
- Michael Hoppen Gallery, London – Flower/Fungi – Saltprints, 1998
- Karen Howes Gallery, London – Saltprints / silver gelatin prints of flowers, 2000
- Arden & Anstruther, Petworth, May 2005
Vintage prints are available printed by the artist on ektalure paper. Prices start at £500.