“Nature protected from the elements inspire me. A painting is hidden behind each window. Flowers sitting on the metal frame, playing with each other on a single plane like on a canvas, leaves growing in the smallest asperity. I found in those gardens the quietude of a museum.” These, the words from Samuel Zeller, whom for two years has been exploring and photographing greenhouses and botanical gardens around Europe.
Observing the way plants, trees and flowers push up against the dappled, translucent glass of these majestic buildings, hinting at what lies inside, is something that all began when, in 2015, on the way home from a “particularly bad day in the office”, Samuel got off the train early to visit a botanical garden. “My anger and anxiety heightened my sensitivity. In that green island inside the city, I discovered what I saw as a series of paintings behind the glass, a refracted reality. I took the first 10 photographs of the project that day.”
That project happens to be Botanical, of which we share now, and which is now available in a new book of the same name, published by Hoxton Mini Press. It’s the reason Samuel was able to change careers and do something he loves. “A year after my visit to the garden I said goodbye to my career as a designer, realising that photography was the best tool I had against the crazy rhythm of our society,” he explains.
“I’ve travelled to many different places in Europe, aiming to seek out those glimpses of nature protected from the elements. It took me 26 years to understand how fragile life can be and how important it is for us to slow down and do what we love. I guess that all good things take time to grow.”
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