Words by Lulu Harrison.
POWER PLANT - An exploration into the extraordinary world of plants with Photographer and Image Maker, Marco Walker.
Fascinated by the natural world, Austrian-American Photographer Marco Walker explores the beauty of plants in his latest body of work POWER PLANT. Through the mediums of photography and collage, Walker is on a mission to connect people living in urban environments back with nature, and to appreciate the greener things in life.
When were you first introduced to photography?
Both my Dad and Grandfather were photographers so that is where my inspiration really came from. I worked for a couple of companies in the States producing photoshoots and helping set things up. That’s when I realised I actually wanted to start shooting myself, so I went to College in LA to learn all the four by five film stuff. I enjoy the element of surprise and experimentation that you get with film, whereas I feel with digital it can be a bit more limited and it has a more throwaway feel.
And how did you shoot the PLANT POWER series?
This was shot digitally, mainly because I was shooting so much content it would have cost me a fortune to shoot film. I went around all the green spaces in London to shoot various plants, and with different filters. I then cut them all out and rearranged them ready to re-shoot as a collage.
What inspired you to start working with plants?
I read this article in the New Yorker about this book called The Secret Life of Plants. The book was all about how plants have feelings. They hooked plants up to machines and found the plants reacted to certain things, for example if people shouted to the plants or played music to plants. That’s what got me thinking about visually bring the plants to life with my Collage technique.
Favourite green space?
Golden Gate Park park in San Francisco is probably my favourite because of its diversity. It has botanical gardens and a Japanese tea garden with lots of miniature trees and rivers which is breathtaking. It has the ultimate climate for plants because of the fog that rolls in in August, givIng the plants the moisture they love. Everything grows there, from cypress trees to redbush trees, it’s a place of discovery and beauty. Inhotim Gardens in Brazil is next on my list of places to visit …. I’ve heard it’s amazing.
So you’re looking to expand your latest series POWER PLANT?
Yes, I would like to do some more black and white and just to experiment a bit more. The series I just did was quite flat but the next one I’m going to do I want it to be 3D with shadows. I have lots of ideas including different methods of framing.
And where did your inspiration come from to include the animals?
I guess I was trying to bring the landscape to life. They are actual shots of statues from stately homes.
What inspired you to make these images?
Trying to bring awareness to the amazing plant world that surrounds us and an Ayahuasca ceremony.
What is that?
It is a rooted plant from Peru that’s mixed with another root can create a hallucinogenic effect.
Would you say you have a green gaff?
We live really close to the flower market in Vauxhall and that’s where we go to get our plants - it’s really cheap and just around the corner. We’re creating a jungle vibe.
Rubber plant or Cactus.
Which piece of work are you most proud of?
None in particular - I’m happy to be moving in a different direction with my work but I always need to keep things looking fresh otherwise I get bored.
How do you like to connect with nature?
I have a kid so I try so try get out as much possible. Any chance to get some green is precious, I feel more inspired out in nature.
What does the future hold?
I’m kind of interested in doing something with plants and buildings - there is quite a lot of brutalist architecture in London so I’m thinking of doing some collages that explore the contrast between the manmade and the natural worlds.
Fav thing about Grace & Thorn?