"Carol Sharp is an award winning photographer and fine artist, renowned for her lyrical composition, attention to detail and her delicate touch with light."
Not long after graduating from Brighton Art College with a first class degree in Visual Communication, I began my career as a professional photographer.
For over 25 years my images have been widely published, including Chelsea Flower Show posters and two sets of Royal Mail stamps.
My commissioned jobs support and inform my fine art practice, an ongoing inquiry into the philosophy of the deep ecology of plants and their innate gesture, from which work is regularly recognised in international competitions.
In our anthropocentric time my aim is to reconnect people with plants and rekindle our emotional bond with nature. To re-enchant the world.
My images communicate on different levels and not only convey moods, but concepts and universal principles. This approach ensures a poignant image to fulfill any project brief, large or small.
I am passionate about the importance of plants for the health of people and our planet, and donate a percentage of my income to support education, conservation and awareness of plants and encouraging connection to nature.
A chronological biography listing awards is here
There is no real start or finish in nature, its all a process. Since the arrival of the Anthropocene the influence humans have in shaping the process is huge. But despite plants being the dominant species on the planet,(99.5% of the total mass), and our total dependance on them for life, we have what has been coined 'plant blindness'- seeing them as a backdrop of green stuff, and our general perception of them is of inanimate beings.
Over the last 25 years I have become deeply connected with the plant world; while influencing their lives for my own ends in my garden and my studio, I have been at the same time studying the extraordinary secret life of plants.
This has influenced my approach to creating an image, I use different types of perception to not only see their form, but to understand the meaning of the form and to reveal its ‘gesture’. which means having a communion with my subjects and a desire to feel their very life force.
As Goethe writes ‘To approach vital nature requires a different cognitive capacity and cognitive organ from that used to perceive inert nature’
I would go so far as to call myself a vitalist. I connect with the vital force that exists in all living things, an intelligent presence that directs and informs the organism on all levels.
As well as depicting plants in this intimate way in their natural environment, I also work in collage, using natural forms as metaphor to explore concepts and illustrate the patterns and connections between the cycles and processes in nature and our own, bringing scientific, philosophical and spiritual information together.
I'm particularly interested in connectivity. The material world is not a collection of separate objects, but is a network of relations between the various parts of a unified whole. Quantum physics tells us there is no objectivity and we are inextricably intertwined with everything that we experience.
As more evidence unfolds about plants ability to connect with each other and with the wider world, I question our relationship with plants and our perception of nature as a whole.
We must come to see that we are not separate from nature but a part of it.