My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Dead Flowers, Decay and Beauty

While being Goth is about primarily music and then fashion, being Gothic is about seeing beauty in death, decay, the transience of life and the fragility of our existences. Dying flowers typify this, once bright, colourful and beautiful, time drains the of their colours, dries out their vibrant petals and turns them into brittle, fragile things that fall apart at even a gentle touch and crumble to dust, but while dried and dead are still beautiful, and even more beautiful for their fragility. As such, I took a few photographs. I tend to keep bouquets that I am gifted until they dry out, and then keep them on display as dead, dried flowers because to me they are still beautiful.



Held up against the sun in a cloudy sky, the structure of the twisted petals becomes clear and the translucence visible. This flower has naturally faded to grey, with only vein-like tracery left in a bloody, rusty red. 





All of these have been held against a matt green background (some card) and photographed such. I wanted to show how papery this flowers had become. I love how the very tips of the petals had remained dark, like they had been carefully dipped. 


This is the same as the last of the black and white photographs. I tried to find a background in a similar colour to the green of the dried stems. I think the subtle variation in colour makes this work better as an image than those in black and white, but that the black and white versions suit the aesthetics of my blog better. 

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos! Faded flowers can be really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you very much :) I definitely agree, faded flowers can indeed be beautiful things. I sometimes prefer them to their fresher selves.

      Delete
  2. Really good shots, you really need to get dave to show you how to use his camera, you'd love the results. Only slight comment is to be careful of your backgrounds, there is a couple of spots on the left hand side 3rd shot down which annoy the hell out of the viewer other than that whose a clever cookie then

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to get Dave to show me how to use my other camera... I'd be too scared to use Dave's camera. It's fancy and expensive and I'd be worried that I'd drop it and break it. My other camera was found waterlogged in the bushes, handed to the police, and when nobody claimed it, the police let me keep it. I spent forever drying it out and it works again. As it has survived all that already, I doubt I will be the death of it.

      For future notice I will check my backgrounds for specks and for retroactively fixing what I've done, there's Photoshop.

      I've discovered that taking photographs of stuff is a good activity that doesn't require me to pay lots of money to do it, other than the initial outlay back when my finances were better, and is rather enjoyable and produces a sense of accomplishment when something turns out acceptable. It is also a dark and mysterious art as far as I'm concerned. I'm more knowledgeable about actual witchcraft than photography...

      Delete
  3. Beautiful shots! I like the B&W ones but the veins in the first are amazing and the color really adds to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you very much. I was debating making the first one black and white, but with a grey sky and pallid petals already, it was already mostly there, and after trying it out, I decided that the reddish veins were better. I did enhance the contrast a bit in Photoshop afterwards, just make the colour stand out a bit more, but it was more tweaking of the existing colour than any dramatic change.

      Delete
  4. I adore dried out flowers. I used to keep a lot of them, but I haven't bought real flowers for so long now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, eventually they do tend to crumble to dust entirely, and therefore aren't utterly perpetuated in their dried state, unless pressed and mounted. I used to press flowers when I was a child, but I haven't done so in years, maybe decades. Raven buys me flowers once in a while, and I occasionally get flowers from others, so I've managed to have dried flowers about the place frequently. Buying flowers for myself is a luxury I cannot afford.

      Delete
  5. These photos resemble what I would call "the art of dying". Very beautiful, especially since the close-ups reveal such delicate details.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dried flowers gain all sorts of interesting texture in terms of crinkles and folds, the changes in colour become more subtle, and where once petals were uniform, the colour seems to withdraw to either the extremities or near the base, becomes almost as if it is more of a blush than actual colour, and I think becomes strangely beautiful.

      Delete
  6. Breathtaking! You are so right - beauty is not just in life, as it is not just in youth. Our culture has such a narrow view of beauty, it makes me a little sad... It's wonderful to see someone appreciating it from a different perspective. I always hold on to flowers long after they die, until they are too dusty and have been knocked over by cats repeatedly... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you like this. I was a bit nervous initially about not entering a fashion-related contribution, but as you so openly encouraged non-fashion contributions from those of us less floral in personal adornment, this came about.

      I agree wholeheartedly that mainstream Western culture has such a narrow view of beauty, and one that emphasises youth and freshness to the exclusion of everything else, perhaps something related to a cultural fear of our own mortality. It's quite a contrast to places like Japan, where they have Hanomi, which the cherry blossom festival, and has (or at least had) quite the emphasis on transience (I think it's become an excuse for a party for many).

      Delete
  7. What wonderful inspiration. Absolutely stunning. What kind of flowers are those? Lily and Iris, I think? I'm certainly no expert, but that's what they look like they might be to my untrained eye.

    When I was younger, the first thing I would do with flowers someone gave me was hang them upside down so they would dry straight and would provide the most beautiful display possible.

    Now I don't like to receive flowers as gifts, because it seems wasteful to me to cut them out of life when left to their own devices they will return over and over again in the natural course of things. Also, the bugs and creatures need them more than I do, so I prefer to leave them be.

    I have to say, though, that you have offered some lovely art here for us. If they have to be cut, certainly let them be celebrated as well as you have done here. Thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The top one was a white lilly, the others, I've forgotten what they're called, but they weren't lilies. My partner got me a mixed bouquet in reds and whites for Valentines day, and I just took pictures of the prettiest dried flowers. The red flowers mostly went brown, although some of them (roses) went a beautiful purple-red, but they fell apart when I tried to photograph them. (I've kept the petals in a box).

      I used to hang upside down lavender, and press others, but I haven't really done that. Some flowers bloom again when they are cut, and cutting them actually promotes further blooms, and I always compost them once they disintegrate, so I don't feel it is a waste. What I do dislike is how many commercial flower growers spray all sorts of pesticides and insecticides etc. on the flowers, and as they are not a food product, some of the substances are stronger than those used for vegetables and grains.

      Taking photographs is a form of art that I am really starting to enjoy.

      Delete
  8. Beautiful photographs and beautiful flowers! I have many dried roses since I never manage to throw away the ones my boyfriend gives me occasionally. :) I love them that way.
    Very interesting (and true) perspective!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you very much.I finally throw them away when they begin to actually fall apart.

      Delete

Please be polite and respectful. Comments containing gratuitous swearing and insults will be deleted.