slash  |  line  |  bloom  |  fuzz  |  time

ABSTRACT ENCOUNTERS

 

Laurence Olver, in  his labrynthine, colourful, abstract compositions, focuses our attention on the plasticity and formal qualities of flowers by examining, as he notes, ‘the paths and structures visible in nature through close-up photography’.


Olver is clearly concerned with modernist preoccupations of the medium by seeking to find new ways of looking at the world in employing techniques, such as close-up, to render a familiar subject in an unusual and abstract form. But, in opposition to the clear and objective depiction of their subjects by the photographers of New Objectivity in Europe and America in 1920’s and 1930’s, Olver seems to follow a different strategy in exploring the hidden paths of the flowers’ petals. Instead of presenting us with one single view abstracted from a part of the flower as result of the monocular vision of the camera, he is attempting to restore the parts into a whole by giving us a cubist approach to his subject in depicting multiple viewpoints of it.


His photographs, three sets of nine images each, depict one flower broken up not only into multiple single viewpoints but also into one of the three basic colours of the additive RGB model. With this division of light into its constituent parts, Olver creates associations to the first experiments with RGB in early colour photography but at the same time he conceptually plays with the origin of their making. That is the Photoshop, which has become the 21stcentury’s predominant darkroom tool.


email Laurence