“Motivated by a kind of eco-anxiety for the natural world, I photograph specimens of birds and insects, as well as local plants, as a kind of talisman against an unknown future. This past season, inspired by the paintings of Rachel Ruysch (b. 1664, The Hague), I also began including local moss and mushrooms to evoke the forest floor in the tradition of “sottobosco” (understory) paintings. In contrast to the lush flowers in the arrangements, the lower section of the photographs feature pests, bug-eaten leaves, fungus and decomposing vegetation. This push-and-pull between opposites – – living and dying, light and dark, predator and prey – – is the conceptual framework and foundation for these still life photos. In the spring, many songbirds migrate through my city and lose their lives when they collide with office buildings. I work closely with the head of the Royal Ontario Museum Ornithology Department, who researches and collects these songbirds. Using the most flamboyant varieties of flowers from my small, urban garden, I make my images using natural light from one small window in my home. My aim is to highlight the fragility of the flowers, the feathers of the fallen birds, and the delicate structures of the insects, in a manner consistent with Northern Rennaisance painting from the 16th and 17th centuries. While the historical artworks I use as inspiration were made in an era of expansion and exploitation, my images are modern in technique. Using a digital camera and only local flora and fauna, I strive to document and preserve what is now threatened by climate change.
The images are a reflection of both my Dutch heritage and the city that I live in, and are presented at a larger-than-life scale to render these fragile subjects in a manner that is powerful, provocative, and immersive.”
Kristin Sjaarda is a photographer based in Toronto, Ontario, where she lives with her husband and three sons. Kristin is known for her large scale, lush photographs of flowers and fauna of her garden and local, urban environment. Photos from this series have been exhibited internationally. Kristin also has designed silk scarves based on the photographs. She has taught workshops on her style of natural light photography and floral arrangement.
The prints you receive are archival, photographic prints on a semi-matte paper with a longevity of 100+ years under normal light conditions.
Each print ships with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist, which serves as proof your artwork is a bonafide member of its limited edition. You should keep this in a safe place.
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The framing options for this artwork are custom made black or white frames with regular glass. Further framing options are available, including but not limited to, satin lamination (no glass) or floating frames. Contact email@example.com for more information.
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