First Greeting Cards and Calendars part 2
You are most iconic images perhaps our with flower pots what was the first flower pot look I have to be honest the very first flowerpot I fight over after is in nineteen ninety one and I had no idea then that they would become so iconic it was purely by accident I'm a terrible gardener which is ironic yes I mean I appreciate the beauty of gardens of other people's gardens and but I'm just not very good at things like that on dh I had this empty fly apart in my then studio where that plant had perished in and so I was just sitting in kids you're not again america sitting against the studio wall and I was starting portraiture and it was it would have been towards the end of my portraiture yes um and it's not my blue period you know my real period reporter two years little chelsea came in and you can see her in the image or you'll be able to see it and she was six months old and she came in with her mother for a regular portrait sitting and it was winter over there and she had this beauti...
ful little mo here hash on and I just sort and channels ran hidden I thought oh would not be great you know and the flower pot was just sitting there so um I propped her on the floor put her in there and I thought how beautiful she looks like the little cactus interest have in in the late eighties early nineties little cactus plants along your window sills you know, we thought that really cool and still do well yeah they're really critic that's all coming back now but so I popped her in the flower pot and that was it on dh um won an award of print judging and things that people have never seen that before and you know everything has to start from somewhere was saying, you know things that they become iconic where once knew you know and we want a new thought in someone's mind and so I thought all right, well I'll do a couple of images the flowerpots work well, it worked for this one yeah while I was there and it was in the greeting cards early period as well you know, you know what the greeting card stood for may also in terms of my creativity is a kid pushing me forward you know gave me a reason to create things for me a reason to think of new ideas and themes and things like that. So it was the greeting cards and the calendars are incredibly important in terms of my development as a photographer and everyone needs a reason to produce things well to push yourself yes, exactly and so there I had chelsea in the flower part and I thought well um let's find the ideal size for a flower pot um if I was going to do anything going forward not even realizing that I would end up doing that massive one hundred twenty three parts which I'll tell you what I know so thiss was almost like in in the same month and so I got four flower park ten and some of the mothers who have brought their babies in the portrait sittings and things who were around the same age and as I pop them all in the flower pots and what I did what I love to see which is the different reactions of the babies you know in the end of your game is like what I can't see anything and you know, looking at each other on dhs how we found the ideal flowerpot size and you know sometimes now I joked to my husband you know, like whenever I do interviews and everything now I'm not like this crystal we met my career of course that you know you go somewhere and you do um three and a half four minute interview you know, prime time somewhere and it's there's half a dozen questions people house the same ones someone and they inevitably the flowerpots come up and I you know, I come off in a city health do eventually put tattooed on my lord I have one hang around my neck you know, it's the hearings so I've got to a stage and I'm kind of I'm over it now, but and now I think you know, I look back and I think I have a clever, you know? And but it's just got to me after a while it's like that that it was defining me as an artist you know, when really I haven't actually folk have that many babies in flower pots, you know, apart from the original show but eso I went through this concept of what if I did a whole scene off babies in flowerpots now I was a lot younger and there's a lot more naive and I certainly don't that you could do this today you know, people think did your husband to tell think you're crazy I don't think is what I was crazy I can't remember everything was normal at that time of course we're going to put how many babies uh well there's one hundred twenty three course one to one hundred twenty three maybes one image well is priefer yeah it is it yes oh you know this image is entirely riel right? Entirely riel this's pre photoshopped? Yes and so we did it in a book I needed let me see if I've got a one hundred sixty six to seven month old babies have figured ok well what's going to make a crowd scene you know nobody try this at home place do not figures it's just it was insane, you know and at the time I thought about lawrence of arabia you know the thing yes seen well and and I thought oh god I'd like to swap places there and direct that is opposed to this you know, but that's here so all right tell you need a lot of planning tio photograph or to organize hundred sixty six month old babies um and it was morgan like I keep saying that in those days because I just went on local radio station and that's cool you know, come on and we'll talk about more finals babies there was in auckland in new zealand like it wasn't like a massive massive city and so we I got all these babies that the organization around it was extraordinary you know too well to take all the phone calls natalie my studio manager was who's going to be here you know, shooting she was my student manager at the time and she was like, you know, I mean, all of this organization that went on for weeks and weeks and weeks and when the baby is needed to be a specific age sixty seven month olds um generally speaking out sitting and they're not crawling because they didn't want to need the babies to stand up in the flour for sure so you need it, you know, you kind of I need him to be a really audience, you know, that kind of love sixteen month old babies because they're just sitting and they react to you, but they're not going to crawl up and, you know, the kind of a captive audience for you, so they need to be the right age. We needed to make sure they were seeing confidently. And I stood here, natalie, on the phone, speaking to a mother going well, are they sitting? You know, because mothers lie okay? Yeah, and or no, they're not standing no, you know, in fact, for one of one of the babies he's coming for the shoot that I'm did the live shoot I'm doing here, she said, well, she's drunkenly crawling finley crawling category. But natalie would say, there's, your baby sit confidently and the mother always thirty years here and should go. Well, if you see him or hear on the floor with pillows all around and go out of the room for five minutes when you come back out they're looking at stealing that was our criteria. But you book to book a one hundred sixty babies, you know, you need you. Just imagine what you need, you know that. Preparation we had to be in you which was a ah a big garden center which is it was in the winter and so it was a well heated and everything in it will tropical plants in near and so just the logistics of actually finding up thais can we flip all year sure, the logistics of actually finding the place it was incredible and then of course you need to have all of the catering and the parking and hazel the diapers and where the rock is going to go afterwards all of that all of that you need to think about and so it was quite intense and it's always thought about for all of this time and then a week before the show dish a measles epidemic struck in auckland and sixteen month old babies until well into the time I'm not sure of the vaccination schedule now for some past that sort of but they're not weren't vaccinated for measles so of course I had to cancel the whole thing you know? So we had to call the mothers and call it off because they were terribly disappointed and I just remember upset members signed it count and natalie anyone that's it you know doing this again because by the time we spent all of this you feel like you've already done that you know because in your mind it's playing out all the time you know I could see these little heads coming out of the flower pots and it was so totally focused on it and just cancel the whole thing on dwi had to re book it um if I was going to do it, we needed toe ticketed breath and do it, and I thought, look, I just have tio a little ways I regret it if I turn and so and you had some experience back with the bags when the film the barriers in the I didn't intend this film all at once, but so anyway, we we redid it the following summer and quotes clinton use same babies because those babies within two old and so we had to do it find another one hundred sixty babies on dh when you look at the image, it looks as if the flower parts are all very close together, but they're not actually it's the camera angle because what we did was this literally talk five minutes maximum way had a sign up, which was in a real sign from the actual flowers in it when we first went out to see if they have this little potted seedlings and it said indoors they these seven dollars, ninety five equality rain, great gifts, indoor gardens, window sills good for putting on weight club rick indicated that sign on dh on the day we had all of the mothers standing with a mother with a baby standing behind each part and we've actually forty job somewhere you yeah, I think it's somewhere a local television station was filming yeah and so you know, I just showed the mothers how to you know, just for the legs put the babies down and move away right don't don't try and attract attention so that all the mothers are sitting along were standing along the left hand side you see some of the babies looking over there and I had an assistant who was up near one of the two cameras who was waving balloons and of course it was just you know what? Whatever whatever anyone wants to do is fine and a couple of the baby's stood up and we had assistance who went in just took them out and s o that's where you see the empty pots on dh so they would go you know, I shot on a four by five for any photographers here and has a lead and we were just went for it for like five minutes and then it was all about and I remember sitting in the car on the way back to the studio after that thinking I can't believe that I did that I can't believe that I thought that I think that what was I thinking? You know andre and I think it's one of those things are just that it can never be replicated ever and it was just a wonderful moment. You know, a wonderful moment for me is a photographer phone in that I even thought there was possible well, exactly just tio to bring such a wet at the time was probably a crazy vision and what to life and then how did that then kind of go further as as you continue to create and create bigger and bigger visions or different visions? Well, I was even that sort of zone where I was creating for the greeting cards yes, when really has went into the u s you know, you guys have more seasonal here, you know, in australia and new zealand we really don't have those four seasons which I love, you know, we know we live in new york it tight it's just fantastic, you know, the fall at the moment and they're also distinctive and so you know, the publisher was saying, well, you need to create all this different seasonal images and it was around the same time that I started thinking about down in the garden and so it all sort of came together in this big sort of well it's like a gardening friends that you know, and I was in that gardening zone and and at the same time I did it for one of the calendars I did a field in provence right now, a court has if you hang around she's done enough with one hundred twenty babies in a flowerpot, yes, I thought I'd find bigger. Well, well, this was actually a feeling provence years on see it here thiss on oh, no, this is not all that's the rest of it there were three hundred nine six to seven on doll babies, and this was for the four month page in the calendar for that year, and I thought, well, ok, all the different expressions of babies and things either so I photographed a didn't photograph newspapers altogether, although people have asked me on numerous occasions, how did you do that? I'm like, you're kidding me right on the field in provence was before try to shop or is very, very basic photo shop, and so all of these babies had to be clear cut out and but we photographed them on a white background over a couple of weeks, I'd say if I can remember rightly, some of them together, some of them singley I said to all of the mothers, I don't mean to discount about this, chris in the father's where there is, well, it doesn't matter if they smiling that it doesn't matter that can just do whatever they want to do on dh, so we had the name's pig above them, so unidentified trace the baby's afterwards, and then we put this whole thing together, and so, you know, it's, just that whole gardening flavor, just the flower pots went on and on, when you look at some of the expressions on these babies, you know, everyone, everyone had their favorite baby, and I've got mine but never sent all I can tell it's not allowed to. Ok, I'll have what, how many three hundred five other mothers and what's wrong. Oh, it's, just it's, fantastic, it's, it's, very joyful, syria, joyful, it's, very, um, hopeful it's, very organic it's. Not something, I think. Very unique. Yeah.