Like most of my work the pampas grass series began fortuitously, but the road to its making was unexpected. I had made the series of tulip leaves which pleased me.
But thinking about them I realised that from the bunch I had chosen only the five stems that I found aesthetically pleasing. Like a portraitist I was choosing subjects to fit a particular aesthetic, of beauty or character. I decided I would make a ‘family group’ using all the stems from the bunch. I had been considering making images using marks of the process of construction. I decided on taping the stems to a base and also using a frame within a frame, elements interacting with inner and outer frames. The stems were taped to tracing paper which was then fixed to a window. I used reflectors to balance the window light. The resultant image was fig.2,
I then discovered the pampas grass, bought to grace my garden.
When I went to plant it I became intrigued by the complex curls of dried leaves at the base of the plant. I postponed the planting and began to photograph. I decided to use the methods I had used in photographing the tulip stems. My first prints disappointed, but trying different papers I found that printing on Ektalure and selenium toning for colour change in the midtone darks gave me the effect that I wanted. I printed the tulip stems on the same paper and went on to make a number of poppy prints using the same methods.
The prints have a certain eccentricity, they are either loved or hated. I love them and as they are included in a number of both private and public collections I realise that they have a wider appeal.