Last week, Jasper Johns, one of the gardeners here at Painswick Rococo Garden, gathered up and put aside some fallen petals from the Parrot Tulips that are growing in a border next to the chilly Plunge Pool. These are particularly spectacular specimens and if you’ve visited the garden recently, you will have almost certainly admired their exotic gorgeousness: flame-red with fine green and yellow markings, their deep-cut petals have a frilly, frothy fringed look. They are aptly named “Rococo”, so what could be a more perfect flower for a Rococo Garden Anthotype?
Delighted as I was to receive Jasper’s thoughtful gift, not everyone was happy. Several visitors to my Bothy studio have gasped in horror at the sight of me cutting up such beautiful flowers, even when I explain that they have been saved from the compost heap.
The tulips have yielded some surprising colours, ranging from deep pink-mauve to purple, depending on the paper. The Anthotype below was left out in the Kitchen garden yesterday, whilst around it, gardeners and volunteers toiled in the hot sun, weeding and planting. By 5pm, I had a reasonably good exposure so although it is not my most successful print to date, I decided not to push it any further as the paper had been coated with just two layers of rhubarb-pink coloured dye, of such delicacy that I feared any more sun would bleach the image away completely.
Currently, I have examples of my Anthotype work in two exhibitions: Capturing Light at the Silverprint Gallery in London, features work by a number of contemporary artists who are exploring Alternative Processes as are those featured in Taking Time which is closer to home, at Ruskin Mill, Stroud.