Flowers and live butterflies in a celebration of life for Alexander James' Intersection

By Culture24 Reporter | 23 April 2013

Exhibition preview: Intersection, The Studio Building, London, April 23 – May 24 2013

A photo of a white and pink flower against a black background
Glass (2012). Distil Ennui Studio© 2000-2013 Alexander James Distil Ennui Studio™. www.DistilEnnui.com
Flights of beauty in the studio are rarely as literal as they were during Alexander James’ 80 days locked away to create his new series.

In a decision he says was made “not lightly”, the photographer began breeding butterflies for a photoshoot they were completely aware of.

“It’s a celebration of life,” asserts the artist, defining his fascination as “the temporarily and fragility of life”, as well as the ornate, ephemeral compositions of 17th century Dutch Master painters.

To recreate their look, James photographed cut flowers underwater, capturing their exact state of ghostly suspense while resisting the temptations of subsequent digital remastering.

“It was a new, painterly way of creating photographs,” he says.

“The reference to vanitas is not only a homage – it’s a self-exploration.

“Some of them are stories of love. Decadence, death and betrayal – it’s all there.

“The playground is between the object and the lens. Something magical happens.”

  • The Studio Building, Evesham Street, London. Open 10am-8pm. Admission free.

More pictures:

A painting of a series of flowers against a black background
Grace (2011). Distil Ennui Studio© 2000-2013 Alexander James Distil Ennui Studio™. www.DistilEnnui.com
A photo of a blue butterfly against a black background
Morpho Amathonte 0005 (2012). Distil Ennui Studio© 2000-2013 Alexander James Distil Ennui Studio™. www.DistilEnnui.com
A photo of flowers against a black background
Untitled 2596 (2012). Distil Ennui Studio© 2000-2013 Alexander James Distil Ennui Studio™. www.DistilEnnui.com
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