Inhouse 78 Nature Stilled

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Arch MacDonnell
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Alistair McCready, Arch MacDonnell, Jane MacDonnell, Dean Foster
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Jane Ussher
  • Client
    Te Papa Press

Photographer Jane Ussher spent several weeks in Te Papa’s Natural History Collection storage areas capturing images of insects, fish, molluscs and botanical specimens. Despite the images being provided in obvious catalogue groupings, a bold move was made to reject this categorisation using a colour wheel to inform a chromatic plate sequence for the 157 images. The images were blurred to the point of abstraction to where the most essential colour could be distilled. Each image then became a colour swatch that could be assigned a value and placed within a colour wheel. Colour hues became a unique and consciously arbitrary way to navigate the natural world and curate the collection within the interior pages of the book. Rhythm is always critical in reader experience, the colour and scale of plates set an intentionally slow pace of movement.