Published by Random House
Reviewed by Ray Cottle
THOSE for whom botanical
photography is just a means of identifying a species might be better
to leave this book sitting on the coffee table. Floranova
is a big book, both in format and in terms of the vision of its
creator, Sydney-based photographer Warwick Orme. Using a digital
camera and technology as his paintbrush, Orme homes in on his subject
matter, paring away and recomposing elements of flowers in a quest
to portray their visual essence - their form and colour. The result
is striking page after striking page - images, not of flowers as
we know them, but flowers anew - "flora nova".
The man who's made a
living photographing fashion models for such titles as Vogue
and Harpers Bazaar says he loves looking at extreme close-ups
of botanical specimens as their simplicity interests him. In his
fashion work he was captivated by "the way clothes worked against
or with the negative space that encompassed them".
Just as British flower
painter Jo Self compels viewers to revisit the plants that inspire
her canvases, so Orme's work leads us back into our gardens.
"I find when [people
now] see the flower for real, they tend to look a little closer,"
he said in a recent interview. "The modern world we're living in
can be too busy, fraught with too many emails and things like that.
People enjoy the peace and serenity of being with their plants."
If you, too, would like
your eyes opened afresh on your garden, buy this lyrical book.
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH