UK photographer Joe Horner has always stopped to smell the roses. From a young age, his artistic family encouraged creativity and an appreciation for the natural world, with a grandfather who passed down a love for printmaking and a mother who was an avid gardener. This penchant for tending to images and flowers blossomed in tandem within Horner, who creates vibrant worlds of immersive visuals with his stunning style of floral photography.
Combining flowers with mirrors, ice, and other unexpected materials, Horner is on a continuous journey of using his camera lens to recontextualize florals. He shares details about his background and practice below.
Why flowers? When did you first fall in love with them as a subject for your photography?
My artistic practice has been deeply influenced by my upbringing. Growing up with an avid gardener as a mother, I was exposed to the natural beauty of flowers from an early age. It was her encouragement to take things out of their norm and observe their reaction that sparked my curiosity and set me on my creative path. Through her guidance and support, my mother instilled in me a love for the art of creation and the confidence to explore new territories.
How did you first develop your uniquely vibrant style of mixing flowers with mirrors, ice, and other unexpected materials in your work?
About three or four years ago, I had been playing around with a number of ideas, and I would write down everything that I thought could be cool. One of them said, “Freeze flowers!” I became obsessed with seeing how the flowers would react to the cold, and it went from there. Over time, the practice developed, and I wanted to see flowers in more and more unusual situations.
I am definitely the cat that would be killed by curiosity.
What’s your typical process for creating one of your floral photos? Where do you source your flowers from, and how do you create your compositions?
My creations are a celebration of the seasons, a reflection of each time of year. I take to the wilds of my local area, gathering flowers to incorporate into my work. There is nothing quite like the thrill of the hunt.
I approach my work with a free-spirited, go-with-the-flow attitude, allowing the natural beauty of the flowers to guide me in my artistic process. However, when commissioned to create a specific piece, I am more than willing to venture out and source the perfect ingredients to bring the vision to life.
What’s your favorite type of flower?
Sweet peas are a childhood favorite for me. They were always growing in my garden as I grew up.