Vegetation Zone is a pinhole photograph series of botanic glasshouses. I see these spaces as aesthetically interesting, albeit contradictory places, that represent our complex relation towards nature and all living organisms. The contrast between devastation of natural habitats and carefully monitored and conditioned conservatories is striking. Botanic gardens are essentially artificial surroundings, havens for both endangered plant species and to city-dwelling humans.
While the contradiction is clearly visible, I want to maintain my approach subtle. I’ve chosen to represent the glasshouses with a hint of surrealism and melancholy. Even though the photographs have been taken in many locations, rather than examining all locations independently I am concentrating on the universal idea of the botanic glasshouse. Even older glasshouses, dating back to the 19th century, have something fascinatingly futuristic about them. As glass constructions, conservatories have a sense of openness, but steamy windows distort views and isolate visitors from outer world. This tension between interior and exterior is to me the most interesting aspect of glasshouses.
The series has been shot around Europe, and some of the photographed gardens include Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden in Helsinki, Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil in Paris and Botania in Joensuu.