Poppies – The Colours
“In 2012 I began photographing the red common corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas) in fields around my home in the East Riding of Yorkshire. A small body of work grew into a documentary photographic project entitled Poppies: Women, War, Peace. It became a response to forgotten women of war, past and present and as a tribute to the resilience of the poppy flower itself, able to grow tall and spectacular, especially in areas of great upheaval and trauma. This work will continue to evolve until its final destination in 2018.
In the meantime, I am immersed in an intense period of study of the family Papaveraceae: the poppy family in all its colours, red, yellow, orange, pink, burgundy, white and black, plus its striking relatives such as Meconopsis, the Himalayan blue poppy. I photograph poppies in daylight as I see them. I leave the prints out in rain and hail and still they are beautiful. I press them, noticing how their pigments change and deepen, from scarlet to purple, yellow to orange, white to brown. I photograph these pressed poppies against my window, daylight revealing the threads and veins of the petals, a make-up that is the same, whatever the colour.”
Lee Karen Stow