Observance is a collection of videos and still images produced over the past five years. This ongoing series explores our relationship to time and personal history in the context of our relationships with others, our shared experiences, and our response to the healing properties of nature. Observance recalls the AIDS crisis and a personal loss of many friends. As I age, I find myself in a new cycle of awareness and mourning as people who have made an impact on my life are also ageing and reflecting on their lives.

Using still life as a metaphor for the ephemerality of time, each photograph and video recalls a person in my life. Informed by the history of both floral photography and painting, Observance moves beyond traditional still life with the presence of performance and the continuous looping of images or stills taken over three days. This work takes a note from the Dutch conceptualist Bas Jan Ader's work Primary Time, 1974.

The vases in Observance echo past lives and histories of use. They represent countless possible narratives. Many of the vases in my collection have come from friends as I work on this series. Through my process the bouquets change as plants fade, the vases remain a constant ready to be filled again with fresh flowers, providing a visual pause for reflection as my performance begins and ends at a resting point holding the vase.

The stills in Observance are available in a varied edition of three archival prints on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta Satin. Each photograph within the same edition is from a different frame in my process, making each piece unique. The print size varies depending on the original scale of the vase and floral arrangement photographed. The videos are presented as both singular and installation grids of various scales. 

Copyright 2020, April Hickox
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