Close-up at the Fruitmarket Gallery

Close-up is the new exhibition at the Fruitmarket. It traces the historically significant moments in close-up photography and other techniques, mostly in monochrome. Exhibits range from delicate flower and plant forms, through an exploration of avant-garde techniques, to frenetic films illustrating the life-cycle of a moth.

At the preview of this exhibition last night, I was introduced to the microphotography of Karl Blossfeldt. There were very beautiful and precise photographs of plants, reminiscent of both illustrations of radiolarians from Ernst Haekel and D’arcy Wentworth Thomson’s On Growth and Form.

To bring it back to my allotment: Blossfeldt’s picture of phacelia tanacetifolia looks nothing like the scraggy specimens on my plot. Next time, I sow the seed earlier and at greater density…


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