Chris Panagakis Photography

(View the series.)

Flowers are my creative rabbit hole. Every spring, I agonized over lighting each little blossom just-so. The results were mixed. Pretty for pretty's sake at best, which is supposed to be a cardinal sin (though it always seems as good a reason as any to me).

With time to consider my obsession more thoroughly, I was taken back to the Marches of my childhood in Illinois on that first day when the dirt was soft enough to turn. Even in our modest suburban yard, my mother kept an eclectic and sprawling garden. Words don't convey the joy of being outside for the first time in months, suddenly heedless of wind chill, and smelling the damp sweetness of freshly thawed earth. Snow drops, trillium, and daffodils were always the first to the party.

Those flowers brave enough to face late snows pointed the way. They are transformation and transcendence. From them I draw twofold inspiration. The spark first: freeze the flowers in blocks of ice. The explosion second: encasing them in ice made the flowers something utterly new. Abstracted through the various levels of distortion the process grants, they've let me scratch a heretofore unreachable itch.

In their making, I think them less about emotion than about form and color. As I work through the project, though, it becomes more of a meditation on the beauty of distortion. The flowers give over their intrinsic form and meaning behind the effervescent refraction.

All of the work in this series is available for $25 as giclee prints at 8x10" on Society6 for those who want a little taste of color on their walls. Collectors can purchase signed, limited edition prints starting at $80 at sizes 11x14" up to 32x48" on Etsy.