Artist Statement 2019
In my work, flowers are symbols that represent women, our humanity, ideas of sacredness, resiliency, hope; how we are connected and reflected in nature.
Like an obsessed botanist, I spent two years (2017-18) collecting and photographing over 7000 specimens of everyday flowers, cultivated blooms, native wildflowers and weeds found along the roadside.
I combine my floral photographs to create large-scale composite images that address personal concerns relating to our wellbeing as a society, connectedness to each other, and unspoken rules and expectations that define and limit us all.
We Are Flowers (Power Mask) Project
These photocompositions contrast the delicacy and fragility of flowers presenting them as "power masks", symbolizing a hidden strength and inner warrior that dwells in each of us.
In psychology, the term “masking” refers to the everyday pretending we do to veil and protect our true identity. This series explores how we hide in plain view, revealing only what we desire others to know or believe about us.
Across social media platforms and ingrained within our image obsessed culture, the illusion of perfection is prevalent and fuels a faulty notion suggesting that by presenting a well crafted “face” or persona, a curated version of ourselves is superior to who we really are.
These masks speak to the quiet yet pervasive social voice that implies that we, as our true and authentic selves are not fully adequate or “enough”.
Created both as symbols of empowerment and catalysts for dialogue, the series encourages bravery to “unmask”, a call to eliminate false fronts that weaken us individually and collectively.
Reflecting our humanity, the flowers remind us to stand up, grow, be broken, imperfect but seen.
- Heidi Carlsen-Rogers