'Inflorescence' - Hand gilded with White, Lemon & Red Gold.
"The prevailing aesthetic today, that of theoretically-driven conceptual photography interests me far less, than creating a compelling orchestration of colour and form within the frame. My fascination with colour goes back a long way. One of my earliest creative recollections has me sitting at a table endlessly mixing paints in a valiant but ultimately futile attempt to 'invent a new colour'.
"It came to me in the middle of the night - as these things often do - that to incorporate gold leaf into the finished print would neatly encapsulate some of the elements I am trying to express. Its application would obviously have to be done by hand with all its attendant imperfections and mistakes. Kintsugi - the Japanese art of patching broken ceramics with gold - shares its aesthetic with Wabi Sabi." - Valda Bailey
"A cluster of light and blossom as delicate as a cloud, the first signs of spring driving ever upwards..."
The beauty of the pieces printed on glass are truly revealed when seen in the flesh, which shimmer in the daylight and change constantly as different light sources are reflected off the print. Although the prints are editioned each one is unique due to the final stage of gold application by hand.
Valda Bailey work is greatly informed by her background in painting and influences come as much from artists as photographers. Her objective is less about portraying a literal representation but rather conveying feelings evoked by the landscape and she achieves this using multiple exposures and intentional camera movement.
Valda's Southern Song series is part of a larger project that attempts to explore the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi. One of many dictionary definitions defines it, as "a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay." This doesn't even begin to unravel its complexities; indeed, so intangible are its philosophies that many Japanese scholars will only attempt to illuminate its mysteries through the medium of poetry.