O ̊˚C is a creative collaboration between artist Tharien Smith and photographer Bruce Boyd, featuring unique images of flowers, fynbos and found objects encapsulated in ice.
We wanted to find a unique way to photograph flowers. After some research we came across the work of Japanes artist, Makoto Azuma. His work inspired us to experiment with flowers frozen in ice. When we froze the flowers every arrangement reacted differently. As it froze, bubbles formed at random. After a few days of experimentation we dropped some ice blocks into a swimming pool and were mesmerized by the results. When immersed in water, the ice cracked and created a totally unique canvas. Within the process of freezing and thawing, strange and exciting things happened.
We spent about a year photographing more than a hundred blocks of ice-arrangements. Most of the time the conditions weren’t perfect or the ice-blocks had developed a cloudiness, which obscured the flowers. After a few months we perfected the process and were able to get together enough material for an exhibition.
Flowers are frozen overnight in plastic containers and then photographed at dawn in the nearest pool, stream or puddle. Upon hitting the water the ice-blocks crack randomly and together with the bubbles formed during the freezing process, create an unique picture.
"I find it fascinating that ice can preserve something and at the same time also enhance or distort the beauty of it. For a few fleeting moments, we are treated to this preserved beauty, the past encapsulated perfectly, before the ice melts and flowers wilt. "
The O ̊˚C Collection
“Featuring unique photographs of flowers and fynbos encapsulated in ice, this collaboration between artist Tharien Smith and photographer Bruce Boyd defines an exciting new aesthetic. Beyond the palpable beauty of these images lies a fascination with the strange qualities of ice as a medium: it has the ability to perfectly preserve something, however fragile, while at the same time enhancing or distorting its appearance to the viewer. ”
Bruce Boyd is a self-taught freelance commercial photographer living in Cape Town. He is the photographer of 'The wild ones', documenting the feral horses of Kleinmond/Botriver. He has held several small exhibitions where this work has been featured.
Tharien Smith is an artist and graphic designer. She graduated with a Textile degree from TUT and has spent most of her career working in various different creative corporate environments designing anything from furnishing fabrics/fashion, graphics and ceramic tiles. She loves spending time being a multi-skilled artist, creating beautiful things.