Decibel Bouquet (dB) presents large format, black and white portraits juxtaposed against an intensely detailed and colorful floral scene, highlighting beauty in unconventional forms. The wallpaper constructed of desecrated bouquets is created through a chaotic process of creating floral arrangements between plexiglass, running them through a printmaking press, and then using a flatbed scanner to capture the destruction in all its detail. Each separate bouquet is printed, and blown up until I find individual abstractions to compile into a symphony. Each moment comes together in the wallpaper design to unite the sacrifice of each bouquet. The petals and stems warped, their pigments spill across the frame, and what once was recognizable, becomes abstract. These scenes, reminiscent of a blooming hurricane or a Cy Twombly painting, become backdrops that demand to be recognized as beautiful even through their destruction. The portraits themselves battle the idea of our own constructions of beauty as each portrait addresses an expectation of womanhood. Focusing on a diverse range of models allows for a more holistic view on womanhood, highlighting different experiences and in placing them all against the floral backdrop, the underlying unity between all women pulls through. As they look into the lens of the view camera, there is a demand to be seen entirely and honestly, slightly larger than life, and verging on disturbing. A certain level intimacy is evident in the close-mouthed expression of the women who are offering themselves up to be judged.
In layering black and white, large format prints along with color digital scans that make up the wallpaper; I bring two very separate ideas together and unite them. Here I show an old and coveted photographic process with a new experimental one, in agreement with one another. These women are still beautiful, even though they highlight what we think to be flawed, as the flowers do in their destroyed state. And here exists harmony. The flowers are not separate from the colorless women; in fact they become part of them. The corporeal nature of the pressed flowers seems to be coming out from inside the women, calling attention in every direction. The wild, untamable beauty of visceral blood red and organ pink in the flora are splayed across the image in a violent call to be heard and seen. These women are silent and yet speaking so loudly, in protest together: a decibel bouquet.
Laura Wiseman (b. 1993) is a recent graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Laura was born in London, England and lived in both England and Ireland before moving to the United States in 2007. Her work explores the complications of womanhood while combining old and new practices to stretch the medium’s expectations. Laura is inspired by her experiences as a multi-cultural woman who has travelled for much of her life, and integrates these experiences into her work. After graduating from Washington and Lee University in May 2016 Laura began an internship with photographer Sally Mann.
You can see more of Laura’s work here.