“I was born in a wonderful garden near Toulouse”, confides Virginie Sueres, who spent her childhood observing flowers, trees and plants. Her first films capture the stunning beauty surrounding her in the most natural possible way. Over the years, she developed a close relationship with plant life, infiltrating their very matter and revealing their internal worlds through utterly delicate, poetic images.
Is it this fascination for plant life that made you want to be a photographer?
Not at all : in the beginning, plants were such a natural part of my daily life that the idea of combining them with a professional project never entered my mind. They nurtured my personal experiences, while I meanwhile ran around the concerts in my area taking pictures. At the time I was very inspired by the black and white portraits in the British magazine Melody Maker…
Paradoxically, it was when you came to Paris that the plant life theme really struck you?
Yes, in Paris I started to miss nature. So I gathered plants everywhere – in parks, in gardens… Ass I was a scanner operator in a big laboratory, I had fun putting them in the scanner and looking through them. I was fascinated by what I found. The incredible beauty, the perfect structure, the organic, sensual texture of the plants: their skins, their pulp, their veins that are arranged like networks… All of this resulted in amazing images, but which lacked depth, so I started backlighting my models to reveal their volumes.
Are all plants amazing?
Frankly, I can’t see any limitations. It’s an endless discovery because all plant matter is different and in addition, varies according to its level of maturity.
At the moment, I am experimenting with other elements such as water, but I always come back to plants which, aside from photography, represent a form of meditation for me.
By Michèle Wouters