Dorothy Jean

These images are part of a series I began four years ago after my mother's  passing. I was left with flowers sent by friends and family, and knowing that my  mother dried and pressed flowers I did the same - taking a single red rose home with me pressed between the pages of a phone book. That association engendered a larger project but instead of trying to 'preserve' them, I gathered more and more bouquets and watched them go through their various stages of life. As they languished, I was struck by the intrinsic beauty in their fragility. Each bouquet became personified - I saw friends and family in each stem. Wilting lilies became my grandmother's paper-thin skin, red petals were my aunt's signature fiery crimson lipstick. As humans we tend to personify everything, often without realizing it. It may be just a way to make sense of the strangeness of living and dying. But there's a certain comfort that also comes from this personification. The process of selecting, nurturing and recording these flowers, sometimes for months at a time, became very ceremonial to me, akin to caring for and being cared by a loved one. And as humans we come to rely and depend on such rituals for solace and meaning.

 
 
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