12 Celestial Months

12 Celestial Months is a photographic project by artist Shaun Stamp curated by Lee Cavaliere. The series consists of large-scale photographs of twelve flowers, each attributed to a sign of the zodiac. In 12 Celestial Months, Stamp took as a starting point the Edwardian birth flowers, and the wider symbolism stemming from a ritualisation of personality within mainstream society. The signs of the zodiac oversimplify and standardise individuality; the zodiac therefore represents a repression, as well as a celebration, of the self. The flowers, in their delicacy, bring an almost sinister prettification of conformity.

The flowers are fake; sprayed with glow-in-the-dark pigment, then photographed, they play with ideas of what is real and what is not; they seem to glow but they do not, they seem real but are not. This sense of artifice, of nature, and of beauty, is at the heart of the work, and of the artist's practice.

For the opening event, harpist Nicolette Chin played a piece from Caroline Lizotte’s Suite Galactique Opus 39. This is a musical exploration of the meeting point between the Earth’s atmosphere and interplanetary space; the artist considers that this has a compact with the photographic work. They each explore themes of the self and the galactic in equal measure, trying to find meaning for our existence in the enormity of the wider universe.

About Shaun Stamp

Shaun Stamp is a multimedia artist who works across media, using sculpture, photography and performance to create environments that envelop and transport. Stamp studied Visual Arts in Somerset and Cardiff, shortly after he left to explore life overseas, moving to South Korea, Netherlands and France and taking up Artist Residencies internationally. Stamp has exhibited in the Far East and Europe with solo exhibitions in the UK.

Stamp’s works explore the many ways our current times of post-modernist society manifests psychologically within the individual. The artist’s work draws from his mixed family history; his mother was of Portuguese, German, Benin and Arawak descent, and his father Roma Gypsy. This, lead the artist to consider ideas of personal identities and histories; often the work looks at post-colonialism and migration, to better understand the self, and to celebrate its uncertainties, fears, joys and failures.