Anne Bahnweg | Poppy Seed
Technician for the biological engineering lab at Cambridge university, Anne Bahnweg photographs the minutia of our world with her work, Poppy Seed. Bahnweg’s work presents images of an alien yet familiar world as she captures these detailed geometric surfaces that leave viewers considering the complexity of the smallest and simplest objects they encounter.
Anne Bahnweg and the Elements of Photography
Bahnweg’s goal with these images is never to create novel images or structures within her work. The goal here is to demonstrate the images possible with the university’s electron microscope and accompanying equipment. These images whilst they can be read as a work of art and of representing a thought or idea of Bahnweg’s, were never created beyond a concern for the image to be “interesting” not an interplay between convention and innovation. There is nothing here that requires previous knowledge by the viewer in order to better understand the flavour of the work.
An Alien World
As Bahnweg leads the viewer through the images of Poppy Seed , she presents these seeds as larger than life. The honeycomb structure of the seed become jagged craters separated by a mountainous topography. The little seeds play at being planets, host to burgeoning life eager to begin its cycle of growth. These are not images of a far off planet but of a tiny seed found by Bahnweg in her garden and this the crux of the work. Bahnweg showcases these seeds from an otherwise unseen position revealing a new perspective of the least considered objects. The repetitive geometry of Poppy Seeds gives Bahnweg’s images a primacy to their shape and structure. The seeds take on a hallowed identity, a being beyond themselves, they are both the representation and essence of life at the beginning of its cycle. They are a representation of the end of life, enclosed in void, the seeds appear as dried and dead, the remnants of a world cleansed of anything with a heartbeat.
Words | Rob Woodgate