Bound Species is an ongoing series Jennifer Latour began creating in her home studio during the first lockdown in 2020. She uses her skills as a special effects makeup artist to construct ‘new species’ of plants from locally sourced fresh flowers and plants. Each piece is its own delicate and surreal creature, a beautiful Frankenstein of sorts.
Jennifer Latour was born in Seven Islands, Quebec, and now works and lives in Vancouver, BC. She is a self-taught artist who has worked internationally in special effects makeup for film and television since 2003 and began practicing photography in 2006. Her love for photography, cinema, sculpture, and creating characters runs through all her work, and has heavily influenced her Bound Species series. While each piece has a unique character and stands on its own, the series as a whole is evocative of the interconnectedness found in nature, and serves as a reminder that all creatures are bound simultaneously by both their similarities and their differences.
“The limitations of pandemic life offered me the opportunity to focus on still-life photography. My work relies largely on experimental playfulness. I set out to create compositions that reflect my love for form, sculpture, colour, and textures. Each piece is an authentic, non-manipulated photograph of real flowers spliced with various other plant parts.
I draw inspiration very heavily from my dreams and during the first lock down I had incredibly vivid and reoccurring dreams of gigantic morphing flora surrounding me. I experimented soon after with trying to recreate these visions of ‘new species’ in real life. I came to see plants and flowers as an extension of the humans and creatures I get to transform through my work in special FX and began an ardent treasure hunt through the city’s many flower shops and nurseries to find different plants to “Frankenstein”. Combining different plants, taking the head off one and joining it to the body of another, allows me to build these characters. I’m guided by the unique qualities of each flower, its shape, colour, and character. As the composition takes shape, the separate pieces somehow morph into something that actually feels plausible, like it might really exist somewhere. I have always lived heavily in my imagination, and I love challenging our limited experiences of how plants grow naturally by bringing to life these patchwork creatures, these bound species.” – Jennifer Latour, 2021
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