Under the photographs displayed on Paula Codoñer’s Instagram page are usually clusters of comments on just how perfect the works are. Despite featuring one of the most referenced objects in art, used by everyone from William Morris and Van Gogh to Andy Warhol and back again, Paula has managed to create artworks of flowers that are surprising in their beauty.
Based in Valencia, Spain, Paula tells us that she’s simply always been curious about photography, “and I’ve always been taking photos”. Despite studying art photography with a degree in product design and a master’s in graphic design, “most of what I’ve learned is from my fellow photographers,” she recalls. Now running Malvarossa photo lab in Valencia, Paula juggles her time between running her business and her flora-focused practice.
As to why her focus became flowers, Paula explains that it was initially because of ease – flowers are perfect for a photographer keen to experiment, without the pressure of a model a few feet away. Noting how she also doesn’t need too much preparation, “only some flowers and a camera,” working with flora as a subject matter encouraged the photographer to “love the full process,” she says, “from choosing and arranging the flowers, to the final edit.”
Despite mentioning ease, Paula’s work is far from being flung together. Her consideration and care elevates her subject matter massively, through to how much of a stem might show, the direction of a flower’s head or the multitude of coloured backgrounds she places bouquets against. Our personal favourites are those which seem to be almost singing like a choir of neatly rowed flower heads, shaken as Paula takes the photograph. In one particular set of images of daisies, each individual flower dashes in a direction so that certain corners are just filled with the blur of white petals.
Each of Paula’s photographs are a testament to the analogue approach she adopts; she did co-found a processing lab after all. Choosing to not employ digital means to create her works, “I love the texture and colours you can get with film as much as the process,” the photographer tells It’s Nice That. “The work flow is more relaxed and conscious with analogue. You feel more present.” Also having the ability to process her works herself, her control spreads to an area many photographers have to hand over to a technician.
Hoping that viewers can spot a “visual balance, a minimal and a colourful look in my photographs,” Paula’s aim for her works of transmitting “a feeling peace, joy and visual pleasure to the viewer,” is one she is certainly achieving.
GalleryPaula Codoñer (Copyright © Paula Codoñer, 2020)
Paula Codoñer (Copyright © Paula Codoñer, 2020)
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.