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GALLERY: Watery botanical photos invite natural reflections

GALLERY: Watery botanical photos invite natural reflections

Tuesday 12 October 2021

GALLERY: Watery botanical photos invite natural reflections


A new exhibition of watery wild plant photographs is inviting islanders to ponder their relationship with nature.

Glen Perotte’s ‘Remnants of Life’ is on display at CCA Galleries International until 22 October.

Brought up in Brooklyn, and having lived Manhattan, London and finally St. Helier, Glen’s life has always been that of an “urban dweller” and the “city” is the environment he is most familiar with.

Yet, his latest body of work focuses on the wild plants that co-exist in the town’s built environment. 

‘Remnants of life’ feature images of the “modest, unassuming wild plants” that populate the path to his studio, which he captured in vivid colours in water, giving them an eerie quality. 

The project originally started with lighting set-ups outdoors to photograph the wild plants in their environment, but the results did not satisfy Glen as images were not “projecting the impact and message I wanted,” he explained. 

“I began taking samples to the studio and created little sets for them,” he said. “They are close-ups so in most cases I am capturing an area no wider than a foot in length. I arranged the subjects in water as a reminder that without water there is no life.

“I wasn't concerned with photographing the plants in a perfect state. My intention was to capture them in various stages of their life. Some of the images show the plants in complete decay but even in decay the beauty of the form is unquestionable.” 

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Pictured: The photographs feature plants found on the path near Glen's studio.

Glen’s main inspiration for the series was “the great American painter”, Georgia O'Keeffe, who painted “beautiful close ups” of flowers back in the early 1900s. “Her work was truly groundbreaking for its time,” Glen said. “O'Keeffe's use of colour is what resonates with me and so inspired me when I first started this body of work.”

After the success of this first series, Glen plans feels he has “only scratched the surface” and plans on adding more to this new body of work. 

“As we witness the impact of environmental breakdown across the world I hope the work will remind us as individuals and communities of the need to reconnect with nature and the fact that we do not exist outside of it,” he said.

Glen’s exhibition is the first at the gallery with Tom Parker at the helm. The artist, who launched the Luddite Press with Tim Le Breuilly, took up the mantle after the departure of gallery director Sasha Gibb.

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Pictured: 'Remants of life' can be seen until 22 October.

Having run his own exhibitions and group shows previously, Tom said that being able to switch between artist and gallerist would “prove a valuable ability”. 

“Having the opportunity to take this on, and working closely with Gillian Duke, CCA UK, and Rory Campbell who has recently started with me here in Jersey, I see exciting things ahead,” he said.

“Glen’s exhibition is especially exciting because of the timing,” he added, commenting on the show. “Firstly, it is the perfect show to kick off our autumn program – the work is all about flora and plant life and I think as the seasons change, we are all reminded of the importance and beauty of this. The exhibition reinforces that importance. 

“We managed to tie it in with the news that Millbrook House Hotel was given the green light from planning plus that Mike Nelhams of Tresco Abbey Garden has agreed to curate the garden there and gave a brilliant talk for us at the gallery. 

“Secondly, it is the first show since I have taken over the running of the gallery. I have worked before with Glen over the years – recently on his 2020: A Year in Vision exhibition – and it is an absolute pleasure to be doing it again in this capacity.”

GALLERY...

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