These photographs represent the performance installation of Mirre Van Dalen’s artwork which was part 2 of Zwarte Bloem, a project she first started years ago. In the initial artwork, Mirre wore a calico toile of a wedding dress while she dipped coloured flowers into black paint. The flowers represented the lives of people with mental health issues and the black paint, the difficulties they have experienced. In this second part, Mirre once again wore the toile and dipped the black flowers in white paint - bringing hope to broken lives.
Limited edition giclee prints are printed on Canson Infinity Edition Etching Rag, 100% cotton fine art, archival, acid free paper. Images are offered in 3 sizes and editions are limited to 50 prints altogether of any single artwork. I check each print carefully, number, sign it and wrap it in acid free tissue before delivery.
I don’t recall exactly how old Rose was when we first met, still small enough to sit in the double pram with her twin brother. Over the years that our families homeschooled together she was always a character from some book or other. I’m not sure when she was actually Rose, however, she was excellent at role play and dress ups, always creating very authentic costumes for every occasion. Those book characters are as real to her and I as the people walking down the street. They are our old friends, so it was a delight to spend a day in her room chatting about those friends while delving through her treasures. Her delicious, vintage, treasures of corsets, lace, tulle, wicker baskets, brass candle holders, pearl buttons, wooden spools of thread and old books, including her collection of different editions of Pride and Prejudice. And then there was the quite lovely mannequin on which hung a half made ball gown that she is creating for herself. The ball has not yet been announced, but she is hopeful for an invitation to Netherfield or Pembley any day.
I asked where she had managed to source such an exquisite collection of vintage corsets and she told me that they were all made by herself over the years to go under her fancy dress costumes so they would sit accurately to the period. I was quite amazed, since they were so beautifully stitched and at the same time appeared yellowed with age - Rose has only just turned 19.
Regency period has been a major influence on Rose’s dress design. When I quizzed her on any particular authors or novels of influence, she instantly replied that the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was very visually inspirational to her. Since we both pretty much know that film frame by frame, we decided that the shoot for this exhibition would pay homage to it in some way. Rose basically spent the day in character as Elizabeth Bennett. When I saw the image “Mr Darcy’s Visit” pop up on my computer screen, I immediately recalled the scene when Lizzy is stunned after Darcy leaves the letter. For that image, I shot through a large crystal in front of the lens which caused the repetition and distortion of Rose’s form. Back home, I processed the images with a desaturated, grainy vintage feel to suit the mood of our day together.
Rose has made several gorgeous wedding and formal gowns for clients and now runs her own business suppling gowns and period costumes.
Impressions and reflections are always more enticing than the actual thing to me. Somehow, the second hand view adds a new dimension to the story. I think that is what attracts me to printmaking and photography, they are forms of reflecting and impression making. Seeing windows reflected in other windows is always fascinating because you get an idea of what the people living in those places see from their homes. The addition of text on the windows adds yet another layer to the story.
The first five images in this collection were taken early one morning in Barcelona, when I was waiting with my daughter for a bus to take us to a the medieval mountain villages. The streets were quiet and deserted and we were early for the bus. I was pretty happy to find these beautiful balconies reflected in the windows with such lovely text forms. The combination of traditional typeface on modern glass with rustic buildings reflected was perfect!
These next three images were shot in a museum in Leicester. Such delightful, flowing calligraphic shapes and abstract blurred colour and shape in the background. I was again attracted to the play between ancient script and modern glass. Venice has amazing reflections of crumbling history around every corner and the final image is from Paris, another melting pot of history and cultures.