I am interested in suggesting abstract concepts, using nature as metaphor. The way that plants disperse seeds particularly resonates with me in the way it expresses ‘Letting go’.
Plants do this as part of their cycles and rhythms and do not struggle with it as humans do! They surrender to the inevitable march of the seasons.
But the similarities are there. Just like us a plant aspires to ‘get ahead’ and must carefully monitor its environment to make the best of its opportunities, and there is always a race to reproduce to ensure the survival of the species.
Plants reproduce in many ways but seed dispersal is the way they can really move over the planet. Seeds must be dispersed before the cold and wet weather, especially if they rely on wind to carry them far and wide.
Annually I have been trying to control the ‘pernicious weed’ Creeping thistle, Cirsium vulgaris, in my meadows by removing their seedheads before they ripen, but one year I let go of control and they burst into a multitude of beautiful wispy thistle down. I so was absorbed in photographing it, I forgot about the loss of control I had suffered and resigned myself to the consequences as they showed me how wonderful letting go can be.
The control of ‘weeds’ and indeed the question of this definition is an interesting subject for debate, and Richard Mabeys book ‘Weeds – How vagabond plants gatecrashed civilization and changed the way we think about nature’ is an excellent place to explore this issue.This image is of another ‘thug’ I struggle to control. Rosebay willowherb, Chamerion angustifolium. This plant spread so aggressively through the rubble after the war that east Londoners had rechristened it Bombweed.
But as I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change, and after shooting this image I cant look at the willowherb in this way again.
Mabey suggests that “at a time of great environmental change and uncertainty, weeds may soon be all we’ve got left.” The recent rise in the popularity of wild plants shows that perhaps there is a change being dispersed on the wind…
The greater concept is about changing our perception and seeking a greater understanding of our place in nature.