Flower power in photographs

John E Maloney with one of his banksia photographs.
John E Maloney with one of his banksia photographs.

JOHN E Maloney’s exhibition Botanica, which opened at Mandurah Art Gallery on Friday, is a collection of fine art photography bringing to life the beautiful flowers first collected in the late 18th and early 19th centuries around the Australian coast.

Maloney said he was drawn to photographing banksias because they were a way of “preserving rare natural history and |capturing the intricate beauty, in fine detail, of the world around us”.

Digital photography and contemporary digital printing processes have provided a new media for scientists, botanical artists and artists to use to capture images.

In the exhibition there are 22 square format 100 x100cm canvases that illustrate the textures, colours and fine details of flowers in close-up.

The artist’s macro-photographs depict the rich diversity of Australian flora.

The exhibition takes the viewer back to the early 1770s when botanists Joseph Banks and later Robert Brown landed on Australian soil and collected samples of previously unknown species of plants.

Maloney has captured the unique characteristics of 16 species of banksia in Botanica, along with a series of abstracted images focusing on finer details of blooms and flowering cacti.

Botanica has been exhibited in the USA, Italy and Sydney before returning to WA for a State wide tour.

The exhibition is open until January 17.