Ferns - RJ Wilner


Ferns are one of those photographic subjects for which I've always had the subconscious thought 'I should do something with ferns.' But never did...until I initiated this series early in the spring of 2019. 

They are one of the oldest plant types on earth with a fossil record dating back several hundred million years...though the earliest varieties have long since gone extinct and the varieties we have today have been present for 'only' an estimated 70 million years. Though they can be very symbolic, their symbolism varies amongst differing groups of people...
   - In witch magic, they represent luck, wealth, protection, and even rainmaking. 
  - The Victorian era saw them depicting fascination, confidence, magic, and shelter...and were thought to be a good gift from a man to a woman to symbolize his love for her. 
  - The Maori people of New Zealand are said to have used the silvery underside of fern leaves that seem to glow in the light of the moon and stars as a navigational aid. 

For me, ferns have always evoked a calm, gentle sensibility. And while the ever present gentleness of the curved lines that make up virtually every frond of every fern I've found thus far do convey that feeling, it's also been a voyage of discovery to see what other visual attributes they may exhibit. Occasionally they remind me of a rather aggressive winged insect, sometimes a 'pinwheel toy' from my youth, and even a king cobra with it's flared out hood. It will be interesting to discover what other metaphors are discovered as I add to the series.

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