Since Autumn last year I have been faced with several deaths and serious illness in people close to me and it has felt like a prolonged autumn.
I began to think of Autumn leaves as a metaphor for ageing and approaching death in humans and I wanted to show the beauty of these leaves as they age and decay. Leaves become more brilliant in colour than they were in their prime and perhaps more beautiful, despite the fact that these colour changes foreshadow the arrival of winter and the sadness associated with that.
I read about the mechanism of these colours and realise that the green from photosynthesis simply masks the true colours of leaves. With cooler weather, when photosynthesis ceases, the uniform green goes and the other colours that have been there all along begin to express themselves.
Here, I believe, is an analogy for the way some humans change as death approaches. They begin to show individuality, may get brighter and more flamboyant, lose inhibition, move from conformity to abandon, stop having to fit into preconceived notions and stop worrying about running with the crowd. Only when approaching death do they show their true colours.
I hope to express this with scans of leaves collected in my neighbourhood. I felt with scanning I could get the starkness and purity I was looking for more than I could with standard photography.