Hanne Castein


I am a German photographer living in London. My photographs are chiefly of plants in all seasons, and mostly in black and white.

About five years ago I came across the work of Karl Blossfeldt, a pioneer of plant photography in the 1930's. Intrigued and challenged by what I saw, I bought a camera and started to take photographs of twigs, seeds, leaves and flowers, in fact, any plant parts with promising shapes and textures. Unlike Blossfeldt and later plant photographers like e.g. Imogen Cunningham, I embed the plant subjects in a varied and textured background.

I experiment with all manner of textures, using metals, slate and wood, preferring them to be not too clean, but weathered, damaged, rusty, dusty and streaked. The plants I photograph are mainly what I find on walks round town, in parks, and my garden throughout the seasons.

If my pictures are ‘about’ anything then it is time, what it creates and leaves behind, as we witness it in the life cycle of all plants.