29/05/2012 - 30/06/2012
We are delighted to announce a major new exhibition of work by British photographer, Paul Kenny.
"O Hanami" is a Japanese festival that honours the brief, fleeting few days when cherry blossom covers the tree before being blown away by the wind. Inspired by a trip to Japan in which he saw this poetic veneration of na ture first hand, Kenny returned to his home in Northumberland and began to work on a British "Hanami", that celebrated the spring-time explosion of native flowers such as Blackthorn, Cow Parsley and Hogweed.
This work preceded a project that Kenny began during the harsh winter of 2010. Snowed in for weeks at a time, and itching to work, he began to forage for material in his garden, finding paper-thin pieces of wind-lashed Birch-bark, Ash keys, frozen pieces of Honesty, last summer's bedding plants flattened by the heavy snow, and a myriad of other treasures. Embracing this new subject matter, Kenny began to photographically record the intricate details and charms that each piece revealed:
"I sought out beauty and fragility in the scraps of gathered material, mindful of my concerns about the landscape and the scars and marks left by man as the land is ordered and shaped, clipped and manicured."
As winter turned to spring, and Kenny continued the project to include the new life in his garden, he found that the two projects began to merge into a complete year-long survey. The result, O Hanami, is an astonishing body of work that celebrates the passing of the seasons, and celebrates the ephemeral beauty of British flora and fauna.