Plantaphilia emerged from a shared passion for plants between the painter Paula Turmina and design historian Iria Suarez, both London based. The project started in 2016, through the recording of plants encountered during walks. Through imagination, we portray the world of plants in a series of individual films that reflect on one plant each. The interaction between the human and plants is captured in a poetic view in the form of colour, shape and sound and invites the viewer to apply its own perspective and reflection of the plant. For each encounter, we ask: what sound does this plant make? how does a plant think?
Plantaphilia uses the tool of the analogue film as a conceptual process that mimics the plant process of absorbing light, the plants to create photosynthesis and the film to create an image.
The project considers the effects of phytophilia (the love of plants) in such an encounter and embraces indigenous knowledge and worldviews. It contains the potential to radically change the observer in that it opens his thought to the flux of becoming and metamorphosis, largely inaccessible from the standpoint of Western metaphysics. The plants researched for the project are specifically connected to the history of botany and medicine, acknowledging the colonial encounter between the Old and the New World and consequently how plants were seeing and displaced.