Inspired by a trip to Tokyo and Kyoto during the Sakura cherry blossom season, Braine has created extraordinary images that offer a fresh sense of awe and original interpretation of the immersive experience of Hanami, the traditional Japanese custom of viewing and honouring the transient beauty of the blossoms. In recognition of this phenomenon, these works convey both the profusion and fragility of the blossom petals from their magnificence on the branch to their life’s end on the ground below.
For her series, A Thousand Fallen Blossoms, Braine took a holepunch to her colour negatives and created hundreds of tiny discs containing fragments of the original blossoms. She then dropped them like ‘negative confetti’ onto the negative holder of the darkroom enlarger, echoing the flurry of falling petals. This random and unpredictable fall of the confetti creates a unique composition that is printed only once before repeating the process.
Intrigued by the abundance of scattered petals covering the pavements, Braine also made a series of only 17 black and white images that form the basis of 10,000 Fallen Petals. However, frustrated by the too descriptive nature of the images she applied tiny, Japanese stickers to the negatives, individually covering each one that had fallen to the pavement. For each blossom, a sticker; 10,000 in all. The title of this series references a 17th century Chinese ink painting called 10,000 Ugly Ink Blots by artist and monk Shitao and draws on Braine’s expertise in art history. Braine has also produced a bespoke, hand-bound book to accompany the large-scale prints.
Aliki Braine (born Paris 1976) studied at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, the Slade School of Fine Art and The Courtauld Institute, where she gained an MA distinction in the History of Art. For her visual arts practice she was awarded the Salon Art Prize, Matt Roberts Arts in 2012. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including London, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Geneva and Jakarta. Her work has been published in numerous books and magazines and is held in both private and corporate collections worldwide.