SABINE VOLLMER VON FALKEN
When things happen, they happen for a reason.
I purchased a complete Britannica Encyclopedia 1929 some time ago, which stood quietly on my bookshelf. In 2008, I took it down. I used the encyclopedia as background for what I called a scientific project, which I named Botanica. Photographing images of flowers and foliage juxtaposed against the encyclopedia entries. Those images were shown in a 2008 exhibition at the Berkshire Community College Gallery. This year, my daughter encouraged me to go on with the series. She is now a photography gallery owner, representing me and other well established contemporary photographers, she wanted to show my vintage work. But that earlier project soon grew into a brand new one, which is called Britannica. Long-lost family heirlooms came to the surface of my mind, as I read and browsed the exceptionally illustrated and treasured Britannica. The idea of photographing them came to me after I heard about a break-in at my sister's apartment in Berlin. She lost all her family memorabilia to thieves. Every so often when I visited her, we would look at her treasures and make each other aware of who it belonged to. Sometimes this led to other questions, as we wondered about what times and places these heirlooms might have seen, who was giving them to whom as a gift, and for what reason? Luckily, I took a photograph of the collection and preserved a record of them for our lifetime. Now, in 2017, memories awake with spring again. Each time I photograph an item from the past it becomes alive and dances and becomes a portrait of its time.