Creaghs’ work is based around the concept of creation within both the natural and digital worlds. These two opposing elements are united by her delicate and elaborate constructions, creating patterns that relate to deeply crafted works such as ancient Persian tapestries and carpets.
This work was inspired by the thousand year old Ardabil Carpet at the V&A London, along with this quote that gave me the idea of creating my own photographic ‘carpet’.
…was it not the late Ryszard Kapuscinski,in his magnificent book on the Shah, who realised why Iranians made such beautiful carpets.
They wove birds with splendidly coloured wings on to silken trees and rivers and blossom-covered branches. And they would throw their carpets to the ground, creating a garden in the desert.”
Using the idea of the ‘instant garden’ created when a richly floral carpet was thrown to the ground in ancient Persia, I create a new kind of ‘garden’ using composite images of industrially grown flowers. The result is a product of a slow, ponderous process of assembling ‘pieces’. The soft lighting, reminiscent of Dutch Still Life paintings, is used to enhance a sense of distance and deep space as the “real” flower is converted through software into the flower symbol found in many ancient decorative arts.
‘The Instant Garden’ is an attempt to bridge the ‘hand-made’ elements of highly detailed and painstakingly constructed crafts (needlework, lace making, quilts, crochet, etc. ) with the techniques of digital manipulation and construction that have emerged with new twenty-first century photographic software.
So ‘The Instant Garden’ plays with ideas around control and stylization that have been present in discussions of ‘nature’ for centuries. This work sits in the uncomfortable space between the aestheticization and the exploitation of nature, offering not conclusions, but suggestions about ‘making’ rather than ‘shooting’ and a new relationship between ancient and modern that speaks to both.
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