For the first time in Sydney, artist Isamu Sawa is set to exhibit ‘Without Water’, a series of hauntingly beautiful, photographic stills depicting flowers and plants in various states of decay.
Inspired by his florist wife, Isamu sources discarded and withered plants and captures them using a sophisticated photographic technique known as focus stacking, the practice is more common in science than art. For example, NASA’s Curiosity rover is able to take microscopic images of Martian geology using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).
When a close-focus view of a rock or mineral particle is not possible over the entire image, MAHLI photographs a series of images in up to eight focus positions. On board software then merges them to create a single ‘best-focus’ image.
Similarly, Sawa has taken up to 25 images of his plants before combining them using computer software to produce single, crisp and extremely detailed images in uniform focus, achieving remarkable results previously unattainable by traditional methods.
His first solo show in Melbourne in 2015 caught the eye of Australian and overseas media including The Age, Broadsheet and influential UK trade journal Creative Review. The show was a commercial success with over thirty large format works acquired by collectors, creatives and institutions.
“I’m delighted to be bringing my flowers to Sydney,” says Sawa. “I’ve used my background as a commercial photographer to create artwork that I think is both beautiful and arresting.”
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