Artist's Statement ::
Flowers have long been admired for their formal qualities of color and form. While sharing this admiration, I am also interested in the range of historical scientific representations of flowers in botanical journals as well as the idea of specimens. As such, I began to photograph flowers encased in wax, a modern twist on Victorian pressed flower collections.
Suspended in wax, the floral materials appear fossilized. Like specimens in a cabinet of curiosity, preserved flower samples have both artistic and scientific qualities. All plants are composed of parts, such as leaves, petals and stems. While these elements are maintained in Wax Flora, aspects of their original arrangement have been reorganized or isolated to create new aesthetic compositions. This abstracted assembly speaks to the reciprocal relationship between artistic and scientific perceptions of nature.
"The question is not what you are looking at but what you see."
- Henry David Thoreau
Melissa Fleming is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the transient and often unseen aspects of the natural world. Her work seeks out characteristics of the elemental forces of nature that are beyond the visible. She is attracted to the idea of the unknown and the fluid interchange of art and science.
Ms. Fleming has exhibited her work both in the U.S. and abroad. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Museo de la Fotografia in Rafaela, Argentina and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Ms. Fleming received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Parsons School of Design. She lives and works in New York City.