In ‘Seed Stories,’ Photographer Thierry Ardouin Unveils the Stunning Diversity of Plants | Colossal


JUNE 8, 2022. GRACE EBERT
Proteaceae, Banksia grandis Willd., bull banksia. All images © Thierry Ardouin/Tendance Floue/MNHN

The basis of life for many species, seeds hold immense power for reproduction and population. Whether a descendent of the first specimens that appeared approximately 400 million years ago or a modern hybrid cultivated to increase food production, the generative forms are often visually striking in their own right with otherworldly colors, textures, and shapes.

Fabaceae, Hippocrepis scorpioides Benth., Scorpion vetch

Photographer Thierry Ardouin showcases these marvelous, strange qualities through hundreds of striking macro shots now compiled in a forthcoming book and exhibition. Positioned against stark black or white backdrops, the specimens are primarily derived from the carpological archives of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, although some come from the International Agricultural Research Centre for Development and the Straw Cereal Biological Resource Centre. This wide-ranging collection includes the veiny, coiled moon trefoil, snake-like scorpion vetch, and small-bur marigold with its prickly body and horns.

The idea for the project germinated more than a decade ago when Ardouin was working on a documentary about French agriculture and discovered that large corporations own the patents to many seed varieties. He explains:

In 2009, in a very particular political context regarding undocumented immigrants, I noticed that there were ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ seeds. The question arose : does a “legal” seed look like an “illegal” seed? But seeds are tiny and, to see them, I had to get close to them and make portraits of them, as I would do for human beings.

He’s documented approximately 500 specimens since, half of which appear in the pages of Seed Stories to be released this month from Atelier EXB.[…]

Asteraceae, Bidens frondosa L., small-bur marigold

More: In ‘Seed Stories,’ Photographer Thierry Ardouin Unveils the Stunning Diversity of Plants

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
This entry was posted in Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to In ‘Seed Stories,’ Photographer Thierry Ardouin Unveils the Stunning Diversity of Plants | Colossal

  1. Photographed like this, the seeds resemble plancton … nature uses similar shapes everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.