“Last clean air on earth” is the first of the series of images that have been brewing in my head for a while now. This idea sparked when I saw a statue made by an amazing artist Will Ferreira. Seeing this statue of an apocalyptic character sucking the air out of the last tree on earth I could almost hear it calling me to do my own version of it. The vision in my head was about a posh rich upper class woman wearing decorated nasal cannula and holding a glass orb, and inside that orb would be some sort of a plant, dying slowly but still generating some air to breath. The woman should look like she is already sick because of the pollution and from the background you could see that the end of the planet is near.
Finding the right model for this image was easy, as I have worked with my trusted model Laura many times before and I knew that she could bring my vision into real life. To help her with that, I collected a pinterest board of the ideas for the makeup and dress, and headed for a shopping trip to search for the missing elements. As I was looking for the right plant to put inside the orb, I found this amazing plant from IKEA that looked like a person. Even the plant looked like Groot from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, I named the plant Gaia (the primal Greek goddess of the Earth) and trusted that she would breath life into the image. In the end, the shopping list looked like this:
- 2 x 40 cm plastic half domes from online shop
- plastic tubes and nasal cannula medical online shop
- Victorian styled Jewelry from my wife’s drawers and Glitter sale
- Ficus microcarpa ginseng plant and Växer pumice stones from IKEA
After getting everything on the list and finding the right day for the photoshoot with Laura, the rest was searching for the visual elements for the background and editing it all together to fit my vision. I won’t go deep into the editing process with this post, but I will put a video where you can see how the image was formed from the different elements.
It is more about why rather than how
Ok, enough of the how I did the image, as I think the more interesting part is why I did this.
The short answer would be “because I can, and because I want to”. These projects are my hobby; something that I love to do. Importantly, with my own projects I can test methods and styles I would not dare to try with a client for the first time. With successful projects I can also show my future clients what can be done, as it is almost impossible to explain a vision without showing an example of the style first. Lastly, an image can be a powerful way to tell a story, and with my own projects I have a chance to affect people, maybe even spark a thought. Like with this image, where I wanted to show one alternative reality where the current global environmental changes might be taking this precious world of ours. Although still fictional, I think we can all agree we wouldn’t want to end up fighting for the last clean air on earth…