Herlinde Koelbl: Metamorphoses / Metamorphosen
Photographic meditations on the transient beauty of flora. This clothbound volume compiles German photographer Herlinde Koelbl’s (born 1939) vivid portraits of flora in various states of bloom or decay.
In the long line of Herlinde Koelbl’s projects, this is the first time that no people are to be seen, and yet her main theme remains: transience. Metamorphoses comprises vivid portraits of flora in various states of bloom and decay: light piercing a broken leaf revealing a network of fine, branched veins; a lemon like a porous stone; a berry wrapped in delicate threads; petals curled in erotic shapes. The book is an investigation into the nature of beauty in painterly hues and a wealth of forms: an intricate, fragile beauty that is only revealed when one pays as close attention as Koelbl does. It is a beauty that approaches abstraction and yet is ultimately less about appearance than the unceasing processes of change and renewal at work in nature. In Koelbl’s words: “The present and the past flow into each other. And in reappearance lies the future.”