Kathleen Maley - Silver Nest Ring

Untitled [Rubrumacus daemonfolia] 2022 – Photography

Leo Busscher

Studio 204

I am a costume designer, some would say “of note”, who has worked more than 6 decades in clothing and fabric, mostly in the world of theatre, musical theatre, television, film, and spectacles with production teams in the Netherlands, which was home for close to 60 of my 86 years.

A couple of years ago I found a book about paper flowers and then one day I thought I had that book and why don’t I do anything with it? SoI started making flowers according to what the book told me to do and then after I had done that for a couple of months I had a big bouquet of roses, but then I thought you know we have to get weird and then I started making things in crazy colors and I invented flowers that don’t exist – and actually that’s an awful lot of fun to do, much more fun than the rules you see according to a book.

I made flowers and then I photographed them to see what it looked like through a camera. They became strange and mysterious, and I thought more exciting – I got a huge reaction from everybody that saw the photographs, along the lines of “who took those pictures, what are those?” Even people who deal professionally with flowers and plants were bowled over with the photographs, for instance the pitcher plants I made.

The pictures of the flowers as photographs makes them completely different from the real thing, so I made a few thousand photographs of the flowers, and sort of distilled it down and suddenly I had a small book my husband made, and supplied names for flowers which didn’t exist.

I currently am exhibiting original flowers at FIloli Gardens, south of San Francisco, in their entry hall, I’ve included several of the flowers there in this profile.

I want to thank my husband Joe Francis, who pushed me to work on these photographs from the original flowers, and conceived and created this book to explore the beauty of my photography.

Also, I wish to thank Catherine Mackey, my studio mate, who has encourged my work and craft, and whose tables, paint, and brushes are present in many of the images in this book.