Elsa Salonen

Matter and Spirit of Life

bleached flowers, their distilled colours, alum crystals
2013, series of three works, each 100x45x62 cm

The artist distilled colours from three different flower species: safflowers, gerberas and hibiscuses. Alum crystals were grown in the colours. In this way, the colours of the flowers were preserved inside of the crystallizing alums. In addition, the artist bleached one flower from each species. The bleached, white flowers are shown together with the associated, colourful crystals. 

The work is inspired by a notion that most of the organisms, both in the plant and in the animal world, seem to lose their colours in death, as if life itself is hidden in the colours.

Technical consultancy / bleaching of flowers: Marja Koistinen, Finnish Museum of Natural History, Helsinki 
Project location / artist-in-residence: Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf, Germany
Exhibition views: Salon Dahlmann, Berlin, 2014 / Photographer: Jere Salonen

Solvite corpora et coagulate spiritum - Dissolve the body and coagulate the spirit.

Nicolas Valois, Les cinq livres, 1449