The Sacred Blue Lily, [120mm colour positive film, digital print with wooden frame and glass, 70*70cm, 2022]
The Sacred Blue Lily is one part of my ongoing project Chlorophyllic Memory: To Blossom Images. I started this work in 2020, then, my investigation was primarily focused on one species, the Nymphaea Caerulea. During my visit to Brussels in May 2022 with the Caravan Residency Program, in an excursion just outside of Brussels, I visited the Plantentuin Meise, the national garden of Belgium. Fostering millions of plant specimens from all over the world, I assumed I would find my subject of investigation.
Tracing movements and migrations through the displaced plants of the botanical garden, I attempted to find the water lily of the Nile in the hundred-year-old wetlands greenhouse, where water lilies from around the world coexist in diverse flora. I didn't find my subject. I suppose it resisted growing in that environment. I captured its absence with a 120mm colour positive film. It is the unseen in this image that I intend to find.
Installation view of Caravan: Thinking with Alexandria, Kunsthal Aarhus, 2023. Photo: Jacob Friis-Holm Nielsen. Courtesy of Kunsthal Aarhus.
©2020 OMNIA SABRY