Dark Flora #6 – Horsetail: Foraged from a damp, boggy area of woodland in mid-summer. It includes Horsetail (Marestail), buckthorn, mallow, tutsan berry, blackberry and heather.
I set out wanting to use marestail (or horsetail) as a focus and had a few places in mind where I thought I might find it - alas, the plant eluded me. After several hours I came across an area I seldom visit and thought I’d have a look over the far side of a pond where I could tell the land dipped; it was almost like the universe knew I wanted to take this photo because there was the marestail mother lode! These few that I collected had to be cut down by half at least so that they’d fit in the frame. Much maligned by gardeners due to their highly invasive habits, they are nevertheless beautiful plants with a distinctly prehistoric vibe.
Horsetail has changed little from its ancestors of the Carboniferous period which makes this arrangement feel almost primordial...
Inspired by Victorian era taxidermy dioramas, Dark Flora is a series of photographs using wild plants and flowers in a curated yet naturalistic arrangement. The plants are foraged from forest clearings, hedgerows and roadside verges, often using humble and unassuming species rather than showy specimens so often used in floral photography. Each arrangement is gathered from within approximately a square mile and therefore represent seasonal ‘portraits’ of the local environments from which they came. - J.G.