Jenny Grassl

An Artist Statement

This series of photographs came about as an authentic encounter between two women. I wanted to photograph Julia in the company of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Simply said, she is my muse, someone I portray as a down to earth Flora or Ceres. I wanted to celebrate her, the luxury of the natural world, and their paradoxical strength and fragility. 

Flowers and women exist together in a problematic relationship, reflecting the old idea that women are of nature, thus illogical, and unworthy of agency and intellectual endeavors. The more we learn about the natural world and the aliveness of plants and trees, especially how they live in community with intention and language, the less sense this conclusion makes. Plants are not prim nineteenth century females. They can be active, promiscuous, gender fluid. Intelligent. Humans live within nature, not always to dominate. 

The pictures were partly staged, yet created by spontaneous acts of collaboration. Things were in motion, yet stilled by the camera, withholding a clear single meaning. Composition seeks to show movement and relationship. The edges are not crisp and finished, allowing them to connect to each other in the series, to the viewer, and the world. I strive for an ongoing moment. 

There is no phallic composition here, no monumental figure in a subordinate landscape. The figure and her surroundings are more of a network or web. Nevertheless, drama is enacted or found. Flowers are sexy. They also die. Women at risk regard each other, and nature.