Time Flower is a series of large format ultra-macro photographs of verdigris pigment that Roch-Cuerrier has cultured in her studio. Over the years, she has developed a fascination with the process of oxidizing bronze in the form of verdigris. Characteristically unstable, its colour changes over time and in response to its environment. In her practice, its distinctive hue has become a symbol of a cyclical temporality associated with several evolutionary experiments.
The crystals have been formed using a process called Highly Accelerated Life Testing. HALT is the process of testing a material by subjecting it to conditions beyond its typical environment. By analyzing the material’s response to such tests, we can make predictions about the aging process of a material. Through this process, the artist aims to observe and document an accelerated temporality.
Through the microscopic lens, a unique universe is revealed. Strange crystals appear, resembling exotic flowers. She refers to these crystalline forms, which seem to belong to another reality, as “time flowers”: an allusion to the science fiction short story by English writer J.G. Ballard, The Garden of Time. The author imagines flowers with a singular power: that of temporarily stopping the passage of time. In her recent projects, the artist tries to define and visually translate this notion.
The flowers grew to a height of about two metres, their slender stems, like rods of glass, bearing a dozen leaves, the once transparent fronds frosted by the fossilised veins. At the peak of each stem was the time flower, the size of a goblet, the opaque outer petals enclosing the crystal heart. Their diamond brilliance contained a thousand facets, the crystal seeming to drain the air of its light and motion. As the flowers swayed slightly in the evening air, they glowed like flame-tipped spears. The Garden of Time, J.G. Ballard, 1962
Imagined as contemplative encounters, these works aim to engage the public in a singular experience that evokes the idea of an alternative universe in which life and matter evolve at their own pace. Neomaterialism is an ideology that has been instinctively part of the artist’s process. What resonates in the neo-materialist thought is a desire to become aware of life in its entirety. There is an acceptance that some things may not be visually discernible, but their tangibility remains mutually exclusive.