Dried Botanics Pressed into Delicate Fauna Compositions by Artist Helen Ahpornsiri
England-based artist Helen Ahpornsiri (previously) presses delicate flowers and plants into wondrous artworks that depict the colorful diversity of the natural world. By foraging botanics from her garden, Ahpornsiri pieces the dried natural matter together in a manner that’s similar to constructing a jigsaw puzzle. “I prefer to use fern and common wildflower species as I like the idea of giving something unassuming, or thought of as a weed, a new narrative—and they are relatively easy to grow!” she says. “The marine algae I use is foraged from beaches on the south coast of England. I search for loose pieces of marine algae along strandlines and in rockpools, especially after stormy seas, to avoid being disruptive to the surrounding ecosystem.”
The artist’s collection features mammals and insects from across the animal kingdom—ranging from peacocks and bees to elephants—some of which are aligned with tiny pieces of gold leaf that reflect the sparkling color and vibrancy of the species she creates. Upon close inspection, the flowers’ color appears faded from the drying process, similar to the way watercolors dry and bleed into their canvas. In one of the artist’s most recent pieces, a comet moth is mounted on black board, with its antenna crafted from a minuscule leaf that elegantly depicts the fragility of the insect’s anatomy.