From fluorescent flamingos to golden pineapples, from giraffes on the wall to fish-like pens in the aquarium, we humans seem to surround ourselves with all kinds of “design” objects that remind us of nature. But do these things bring us closer to nature or make that distance greater? This phenomenon inspired Dutch visual artist Annegien van Doorn to create ‘Biophilia’, a photobook full of strange and artificial encounters with nature, but also its personification. Through her wry reflection on the absurdity of the world we create, she hopes to encourage a revaluation of actual nature. Do flowers compare colours? Do fish want to be kissed? Van Doorn thinks perhaps they just might …
But why do we like to be surrounded with objects that are colourful or green and give us an apparent nature experience?
Biophilia, which in Greek literally means love for life, refers to the primal necessity of humans to feel connected to nature. Recent scientific studies show that nature or natural elements in our environment contribute to our mental and physical well-being. In fact, one tree, one plant or even a picture of a tree is enough to help us become more productive, more creative and it can even lower our blood pressure.
In short: we become happier and healthier from natural elements in our surroundings, even if they are artificial. But won’t we get further and further away from nature if we can meet our primal need with a photo print of a waterfall or a cactus-shaped lamp? And what does our current connection to nature say about us ‘modern’ humans?
Size: 23 x 17 cm, 116 pages
Publisher: Annegien van Doorn, 2022