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Daniel Shipp's 'Botanical Inquiry'

Creative People

The humble weed is generally viewed as an undesirable plant, not valued for its beauty. In this new body of work, photographer Daniel Shipp re-positions unremarkable botanical species in the urban environment, to create a narrative of survival and adaptation.

We chat with the Sydney based artist about mastering the art of illusion, the miraculous life of plants, and his new exhibition ‘Botanical Inquiry’ – opening at the May Space Gallery in Waterloo, Saturday 19th May.

10th May, 2018

Photographer Daniel Shipp in his Sydney studio. Photo – courtesy of Daniel Shipp.

‘Botanical Inquiry #13 – Sheltered Urban Extermity’. Image – Daniel Shipp.

‘Botanical Inquiry #18 – Central Stream Reserve’. Image – Daniel Shipp.

‘Botanical Inquiry #17 – Western Landing’. Image – Daniel Shipp.

Art photograph by Daniel Shipp, as part of the upcoming exhibition, ‘Botanical Inquiry’. Pictured here: ‘Botanical Inquiry #12 – Southern Remedial Exclusion’. Image – Daniel Shipp.

‘Botanical Inquiry #16 – Data Hub Aberration’. Image – Daniel Shipp.

Inside Daniel’s studio. Photo – courtesy of Daniel Shipp.

Lucy Feagins
Thursday 10th May 2018

Photographer Daniel Shipp has always been fascinated by ‘creating worlds with the camera.’ After beginning his career working in support roles in film and television, the experience of being part of the ‘illusions crew’ led to Daniel completing a degree in photography at art school. From here, he spent several years assisting fashion photographers, before pursuing his own career in commercial and fine art photography… as well as editorial work, like shooting our Sydney garden stories!

Daniel’s interest in conjuring new worlds is evident in his new exhibition, Botanical Inquiry. In this body of work, carefully crafted images incorporate plants the artist has found, with images of urban landscapes from his own photographic archive. In order to produce these images, Daniel has developed an in-camera technique where scenes are ‘staged like a diorama’, to create striking visual illusions.

Botanical Inquiry emerged out of Daniel’s collaborations with Georgina Reid  (of beloved The Planthunter fame), which challenged the artist to ‘open his mind to new ways of thinking about plants.’ This exhibition combines his technical skills, with a strong sense of narrative. ‘The aesthetic of the images is a tribute to vintage botanical illustration, and in retrospect, I can also see references to the storybook illustrations of my youth’ he says.

Plants and horticulture continue to inform Daniel’s work, as he and Georgina are currently working on a forthcoming ‘The Planthunter‘ book (we can’t wait!).

Botanical Inquiry by Daniel Shipp
May 16th to June 2nd
May Space Gallery May Space Gallery
409b George Street
Waterloo, New South Wales

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net