This project is an exploration of beauty as an antidote for the personal and political crisis. In times of heartache, disaster, impasse, many turn to the idea of beauty in the natural world as a place of refuge. Writer and philosopher John O’Donohue states, “I think that beauty is not a luxury, but that it ennobles the heart and reminds us of the infinity that is within us.” That idea resonates with me and inspired this project.
— MARCY PALMER
“The project began with searching for and exploring the transcendent aspect of beauty and contemplating it as a necessary part of our lives"
- Signed Edition of 10, one available -
- "In many ways, I see this work as a refuge for personal and political crisis. The project began with searching for and exploring the transcendent aspect of beauty and contemplating it as a necessary part of our lives. As the project developed, recognizing the counterbalance of these ideas became important too, so certain images are more politically charged, while others are about the ethereal, transcendent moments in life.
- At the beginning of this project, I was focusing on common, often overlooked, wildflowers and botanicals, and was interested in elevating and recognizing them by gilding them. I think that is a metaphor for moments of beauty or transcendence in life, but also for people and political change The plants and flowers are photographed, printed on vellum, hand-gilded with 24k or 18k gold leaf, with applied varnish and wax.
- The project is inspired by Anna Atkins’s botanical studies as well as surrealist photographers who manipulated imagery and materials such as Florence Henri, Dora Maar, and Maurice Tabard to visualize an imagined realm. A book of this work titled, “You Are Eternity, You Are the Mirror” was just released at the end of 2020 with Yoffy Press. The images in the book are paired with the writings of Kahlil Gibran to underscore the significance and multiplicity of the notion of beauty in our lives
24k gilded photograph on vellum with varnish and wax x vellum size 8.5 x11 in
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