Barbara Reiner explores digital montage techniques & constructs imagined "natural floral" arrangements in wide panoramic form from individual photographic elements. There is a noticeable amount of empty space in this work following an important principle of Ikebana – the pursuit of which, is a way to enlightenment on Kado, the flower path. After study of photography and graphic design at a local university, and practice of professional portrait and product photography, Barbara now concentrates her artistic focus on a her passion for flowers. This work, could never mimic the natural reality of “straight photography.” Botanical Exploration was originally produced as a fine art digital print, 84” x 44”. Only a few flowers in existence actually approach this scale. She uses a full-frame Nikon DSLR, a 105mm macro and various light sources. For exhibit, Barbara encouraged fellow university art students to draw over the large printed images with pastels, pencils, etc. Extra white space permitted this. Barbara considered the writing of French art critic, Nicolas Bourriaud, whose theory on “relational aesthetics” proposes that “the artwork creates a social environment in which people come together to participate in a shared activity.” Class discussion unearthed questions about the “value of the finished art piece.” The true value became the participation when students added their own vision. Barbara has decided to offer a limited-edition digital version of the original piece.
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