‘Los Angeles is full of secret lives, of night bloomers both literal and metaphorical, of brief encounters and tiny, unobserved beauties. It is a sprawling metropolis, a desert oasis, a city of dreams and mirages, of grit and gridlock. For such an immense urban area, LA is curiously, perhaps uniquely, permeable to nature.’
These are the words of Los Angeles-based novelist Maggie Shipstead in an essay written for photographer Sean Fennessy and art director + designer Jess Lillico’s upcoming photo book, City Over Land. A study of nature in one of the world’s most grueling cities, Sean and Jess took the photos for this collaborative project on a trip to LA in 2017.
Determined to work on something together, though unsure what form that would take, the couple began taking note of unique plant life in the area around their Airbnb in Silverlake. ‘I don’t think anyone generally associates interesting gardens with LA, with its reputation for concrete, freeways and smog,’ Sean says. Despite Sean being the official photographer of the pair, and Jess the designer, the couple approached this project without constraint or ‘worrying too much about the technical side of things’. Jess took some of the photos, and Sean lent his opinion to the design.
And so City Over Land came about, a series of soft, dreamy images that capture the sort of secret gardens of LA. To celebrate the launch of the book this Saturday, Charlie Lawler and Wona Bae of Loose Leaf will create a foliage installation in the space, and drinks will be flowing courtesy of Company Wine. Bring your kids, bring your pets, all are welcome!
City Over Land will be available to purchase at the launch, and then online here.
City Over Land book launch
Sean Fennessy and Jess Lillico
Saturday, May 4th
87 Albert StreetEast