Come see real flowers of this painful world.

Kathryn Martin

The title of this series is borrowed from a haiku poem by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694). Basho wandered all over Japan in search of new sights and experiences. His simple, unpretentious, honest words resonate strongly. Inspired by Zen, Basho sought to celebrate nature, ‘whether his ears heard thunder or bird-song, whether his foot brushed flower or mud, he was intensely alive to the preciousness of all that shared the world with him.’ (Stryk). The plants in this series were collected on a repeated walk near the photographer’s home on the South Downs Way, from the brooks in Southease to the brow of Itford Hill, from early spring to summer 2019 and represent the first part of a project to understand and connect with this Downland landscape. The aim is to highlight the delicate, fragile beauty and vulnerability of our native wildflowers as these plants are often overlooked and dismissed as weeds. These habitats are in sharp decline but are a vital source of food and shelter for all kinds of wildlife. 10 x 8 prints on archival washi paper.

Artist biography

Kathryn Martin (b.1972) is a photographer who lives and works on the South Downs, England. She studied at London College of Printing before working for over ten years in London as a documentary photographer. Prior to developing her photographic career, she worked for Maureen Doherty at Egg where she was influenced by artists such as Edmund de Waal and Issey Miyake. Her current work explores traditions, memories and relationships of the individual to the landscape; how it shapes and influences us, how we connect to the past through our surroundings; using photography to inspire thought and behavioral change.


Come see real flowers of this painful world., Kathryn Martin