From Anna Atkins’ botanical traces of algae, Karl Blossdfeldt’s work with forms from nature as archetypal designs motifs to the mesmerizing snowflake crystals of Wilson Alwyn Bentley, photography has used the scientific gaze to create understanding about the world around us. These early explorers of photography laid the groundwork for a physical understanding of the world that demystified nature and simultaneously deflected the perception of its beauty.
Today with the knowledge of impending ecological crises the sensibility to the complexity and beauty of the natural world has increased. Artists such Garry Fabian Miller and Susan Derges introduced a metaphysical dimension into this photographic tradition. Taylor Reid’s work extends into this metaphorical tradition. Deeper connections to contemporary social issues, such as genetic manipulations (corn), monocultures (feral apples), the passage of time (decaying leaves, abandoned egg collections, burning nests) and most recently food production and its security (Mason jars) emerge through the objects she choose to photograph. Her work is a poetic reverie and reflection of the complexity in the world. Taylor Reid contemplates the notion of how the physical form of an object informs the hidden understanding of its cultural systems.
“To give an object poetic space is to give it more space than it has objectivity or, better still, it is following the expansion of its intimate space.” Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard.