Exquisite Inflorescence: Studies in Movement, Shape, and Color

Photographers Ruth Henderson and Richard Ashby come together from different approaches to amaze, confound, and astound us, with their images of flowers. Brilliant, compelling imagery abounds, and forms both precise and mysteriously obscured dazzle us.

Richard Ashby, using a variety of orchid specimens, seems to have created an alternate universe. We find ourselves wandering in it while we marvel at this extravaganza of shape and color. Are we looking at something on earth, or is it pure fantasy? Viewers will wonder: Are they looking at orchids, or are those two tiny dragons, cavorting in a garden? They might ask: Is that an orchid, or an alien life form? Is that Habenaria medusa, or a magnificent jellyfish, exquisitely colored and detailed, gliding past? Observe Ashby’s Habenaria rhodocheila and suddenly it is a giant pink butterfly, skimming majestically over an unknown landscape.

Ruth Henderson, using her combination of multiple light sources, slight camera motion and brief time lapse, compresses what amounts to a tiny motion picture into a single image, all in camera. Looking at her variety of flower specimens one can hardly believe it. Is that the fire of life itself breathing forth from a flower? Does that Iceland Poppy dance? What exactly are we looking at? While gazing in wonder at “Time, Space, Orchids” one can see a petal in front and see the petal behind it at the same time!  It seems that even while we are bound to the earth, when we gaze at Henderson’s images, we travel through space and time.
The juxtaposition of the work of these two distinctly different photographers both asks, and answers the question: “is there more than one way to look at the world?” Like their image subjects, these two gifted artists delight and uplift us. They’ve created a world of wonder, and it is our world.

 

Richard Ashby: Dendrobium obtusisepalum

 

Richard Ashby: Schomburgkia tibicinis

 

Richard Ashby: Masdevallia ignea

 

Richard Ashby: Habenaria radiata

 


Ruth Henderson: Freesia Dreaming of Cubism

 

Ruth Henderson: Quiet Joy of the Peach Gladiola

 

Ruth Henderson: Tulips Resplendent

 

Ruth Henderson: Whoosh

 

 

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Viewpoint Photographic Art Center is the proud recipient of a SMAC Cultural Arts Award grant.




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