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Release by Carol Sharp

Release I Onopordum acanthium copy


by Carol Sharp

A body of work exploring the concept of 'letting go'

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Release by Carol Sharp. All images © Carol Sharp 2017

How did this project come about? 

I am exploring abstract concepts, using nature as a metaphor. The way that plants disperse seeds particularly resonates with me in the way it expresses ‘Letting go’.

Plants do this as part of their cycles and rhythms and do not struggle with it as humans do! They surrender to the inevitable march of the seasons.

Annually I have been trying to control the spread of ‘pernicious weed’ Creeping thistle, Cirsium vulgaris, in my meadows by removing their seedheads before they ripen, but one year I let go of control and they burst into a multitude of beautiful wispy thistle down. I so was absorbed in photographing it, I forgot about the loss of control I had suffered and resigned myself to the consequences as they showed me how wonderful letting go can be.

Where did you take these shots? 

Mostly in my meadow but some I picked and put in the window, because any breath of wind moves the delicate fluff which makes it very difficult.

What’s the story behind these images?  

As well as the metaphor of letting go, the control of ‘weeds’ and indeed the question of the definition of a weed is another concept this project begins to explore, maybe we need to let go of our preconceived ideas. Why are they less attractive to us than ornamental plants? 

The greater concept is about changing our perception and seeking a greater understanding of our place in nature.

How did you edit them down to the final selection? 

I was looking for images that illustrate the moment of letting go.

Tell us something surprising about this project

As I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change, and after shooting this image I can't look at these ‘weeds' as aggressive thugs again.

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