Seeds of Beauty
Playing with scale, politics and fantasy, photographer Thierry Ardouin opens a door on the kingdom of seeds.
In 2009, during the making of a documentary, Thierry Ardouin discovered the Official Catalogue of Vegetation Species and Varieties in France. Protected by large seed companies those seeds needed licences to circulate, and thinking of what looked like a “legal” or “illegal” seed struck him in his parallel to the debate over immigration.
SOLANACEAE - Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., ‘Rosita’. Tomato, “Rosita”. © Thierry Ardouin / Tendance Floue/ Association Kokopelli
FABACEAE - Hippocrepis scorpioides Benth. Scorpion vetch. © Thierry Ardouin/ Tendance Floue / MNHN
SAPINDACEAE - Majidea zanguebarica J. Kirk ex Oliv. Mgambo black-pearl tree. © Thierry Ardouin / Tendance Floue / MNHN
APIACEAE - Malabaila aurea (Sm.) Boiss. Malabaila aurea. © Thierry Ardouin / Tendance Floue / MNHN
Working with a macroscopic stereo magnifier he started taking portraits of them, as he would do with human beings. Photographing over 500 kinds of seeds brought him to study their wild shapes and textures, always functional to aspects of reproduction, the close collaborations between the seed and animal worlds, and the human approach to agriculture.
FABACEAE - Medicago arborea L. Moon trefoil. © Thierry Ardouin / Tendance Floue / MNHN
ARECACEAE - Lodoicea maldivica (J. F. Gmel.) Pers. Sea coconut. © Thierry Ardouin / Tendance Floue / MNHN
ASTERACEAE - Bidens frondosa L. Small-bur marigold. © Thierry Ardouin/ Tendance Floue / MNHN
POACEAE - Zea mays L. ‘Navajo robin’s egg’ Maize, “Navajo robin’s egg”. © Thierry Ardouin / Tendance Floue/ Association Kokopelli
PROTEACEAE - Banksia grandis Willd. Bull banksia. © Thierry Ardouin / Tendance Floue / MNHN