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A botanical odyssey through the lens of Kate Ballis and Tom Blachford

A botanical odyssey through the lens of Kate Ballis and Tom Blachford

A botanical odyssey through the lens of Kate Ballis and Tom Blachford

Tom Blachford and Kate Ballis

Partners in life and work, Kate Ballis and Tom Blachford will be showcasing a visual feast with their latest exhibition Influorescence, opening in Melbourne.

In a collaboration that marries the art of photography with the beauty of botany, the creative partners in life and work Kate Ballis and Tom Blachford present Influorescence, opening at Melbourne’s Gallerysmith in November.

Renowned for their individual achievements in fine art photography, this series marks the first time they’ve combined their artistic talents to explore the wonders of nature.

Influorescence by Kate Ballis and Tom Blachford explores long exposure and UV light photography
Iota Leonis

Nestled in the heart of Melbourne, Kate and Tom’s garden is a lush landscape of vibrant colours and verdant splendour. Drawing inspiration from the seasonal blooms that grace their garden, Influorescence embarks on a visual journey, capturing the beauty of flowers born from bulbs or seeds. These floral subjects are expertly framed within the confines of a black box studio, where ultraviolet light is harnessed to unveil the otherwise hidden intricacies of nature.

The collaboration is a harmonious fusion of Kate Ballis’s dedication to revealing the unseen and Tom Blachford’s mastery of the art of long-exposure photography. The result is simply exquisite. The larger-than-life images of individual flowers, illuminated by ultraviolet light, divulge the awe-inspiring details hidden within these natural marvels.

Triton, as part of Flourescence by Tom Blachford and Kate Ballis

Bursting with an array of colours and dynamic movement, each blossom transforms into a celestial microcosm that evokes thoughts of colossal constellations and galaxies in the far reaches of the universe. The flowers twinkle like stars in the night sky, their pollen appearing as vivid supernovas.

As Ballis describes, “At scale on the wall, it looks like a giant planet. When looking at it, you’re reflecting on your place in the universe”. The series serves as a profound reminder of the interconnectedness of all living things and our place in the grandness of the universe.

To further enhance the otherworldly ambience, the botanical images are adorned with celestial names: Alcyone, Alpha Leonis, Andromeda, Arche, Iota Leonis, Pleione, Pollux, and Triton. The choice of names reflects the ethereal quality of the photographs, mirroring the grandeur of the cosmos within the confines of a single bloom.

Influorescence is the culmination of two springs and summers between 2021 and 2023.

3 November – 2 December
170-174 Abbotsford Street,
North Melbourne, NAARM 3051

Kate Ballis

Tom Blachford

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Aleesha Callahan is the editor of Habitus. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Aleesha seeks out the unique people, projects and products that define the Indo Pacific region. Aleesha was previously the editor of Indesignlive.com and has written and contributed to various publications and brands in her 10 years in the architecture and design industry, bringing intimate insight to her stories having first trained and practised as an interior designer. Her passion for mid-century design and architecture began while living and working in Berlin.