A photographic essay in which cut flowers are coupled with Indian and South-east Asian sculptures and reliefs
This book is a photographic essay in which classical Indian and South-east Asian sculptures originating in the first millennium CE are juxtaposed with photographs of cut flowers. The two inhabit very different domains: the flowers are natural organic forms while the sculptures are man-made artifices made of stone; the flowers are alive, of the moment, their life span measured in days, whilst the sculptures are very much of the past, inanimate, frozen, as it were, hundreds of years ago. The flowers display themselves in colourful exuberance while the sculptures, as we have them, are stolidly monochromatic. Finally, and most importantly, both are extremely beautiful. The question posed by this book is how they inform each other when placed side by side. In a word, the answer the book suggests is that the ‘dead’ sculptures come alive with colour while at the same time the ephemeral flowers, through the medium of photography, become sculptural, timeless and stately.
The proof lies in the printed spreads and in a well-argued introduction augmented by a thorough index detailing the flowers and the particulars of each sculpture.