The Flowers of Provence

Simon Element. Oct. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781668020692. $25. PHOTOG
Beck (An American in Provence), who moved from New York City to Provence, France, in 2016, describes the visual and cultural importance of flowers, including lavender, roses, irises, and sunflowers, in both the landscape and in the daily life of Provence. She created the Instagram series #IsolationCreation during the pandemic lockdown in France. For 60 days, she staged and photographed a new still life each day, using materials found nearby, including flowers, fruits, (some whole and some split open to reveal their juicy interiors), and the insects that wandered into the compositions. Those photographs, as well as photos of landscapes, and portraits display a strong sense of Provence and fill the majority of the book. The title also includes several short how-to sections on drying and cutting flowers and making potpourri. Passages from Beck’s journal, which provide further context, are sprinkled throughout the book as well.
VERDICT An attractive work that focuses solely on Provence. Best suited for libraries with large photography collections or a special interest in France.
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