Tanyth Berkeley likes the “Special Ones”.
She likes the pale ones, the large headed types, the big bodies and the long giraffe necks. She likes the Robert Crumb shapes and the vampire faces, the glowing white skin and the men-in-dresses with womanly laces. She likes the eyes set back in the skull or the shoulders holding up those big heads that are smashed in like a pretty pumpkin in certain places. Her specialty is the awkward, the rare flower, the big cheek boned and special feminine shells and large sizes and different races. And what about those “beautiful” humans. What about the “blessed” ones that run around naked with their skinny bodies in the fields and the forest, all pretty and young, perfect skin and perfect faces. The free ones that climb naked and glistening in trees to let the gold sun reflect from their perfect skin as they celebrate their perfect shapes.
Where does she go to find her lovely specimens – these “Special Ones”, the Orchidaceae. One species looks just like a pony with its mane flowing out. One species looks like a glowing strawberry. One looks like a beautiful alien. One looks like a human rose. One looks like a firefly. One looks like the kind of fancy shoes that a king might wear. One looks like Mickey Mouse. One looks like a fluffy kitten. Her expeditions take her deep into the cement jungle, into the dangerous subway tunnels of New York — the hunting is calculated, looking carefully for the rare flowers and avoiding the normal, the mundane, the boring beautiful. After a successful catch, she takes them to rooftops, into open light to photograph them and categorize her findings. She likes to find the rarest of species, the ones that the loons viciously stare at and then discard with their eyes, the ones that elude the shallow folks who ignore the rare beauty in their blindness and their love for the superficial and their blind desire for the skinny. Most share a few key characteristics that distinguish them from other human flowers. Some species are pale white and easy to spot, some share both male and female parts… some are yellow, some are red, some have marks and spots and some are bare. I wasn’t surprised to learn that such remarkable creatures were also delicate and vulnerable to disturbance. They often stare vacant into space so as to avoid eye contact with the vicious others, the gawking eyes and the long stares. They try to blend in and avoid the aggression that would damage their delicate and beautiful petals.
I would expect that Tanyth will continue to hunt these beautiful specimens for the hunter is a rare breed themselves. Once you taste the beauty of the special ones, you are typically unable to stop your hunt for the fascinating form of the rare human flower.
ASX CHANNEL: Tanyth Berkeley
All images © copyright the photographer and/or publisher