Publishers: Perimeter Editions, ISBN: 9781922545046, Format: Softcover, 112pp, 340 x 240 mm
The still life floral arrangements that populate florist Simone Gooch and photographer Derek Henderson’s collaborative project Rosa both expound and subvert the loaded historical and aesthetic potentials of its central subject matter. Having been commissioned by John Tebbs of Pleasure Garden magazine to visit Matthews Nurseries Ltd. – a multigenerational family rose farm in Whanganui, New Zealand, known throughout the world for its unique rose breeding program – in 2018, Gooch (known for her work as Fjura) and Henderson were so taken by their experience that they returned of their own accord the following year, working with the Matthews family to source, select and cut the plethora of unique rose varieties that appear in the book. The results are quiet yet spectacular, poetic yet expressive, with Henderson capturing Gooch’s highly sculptural, unconventionally elegant floral signature with the kind of casual warmth and formalist precision that have come to define his photographic career. These works call to the classical and the contemporary in equal voice. Rosa – which includes an extensive interview with the Matthews family and a detailed flower index – makes a compelling new case for the time-honoured queen of flowers.