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Lily Pad Plaza

Melanie Adams

Artist's Statement

This image was created using Photoshop to combine two original photographs taken by me. I added the tiny figures of people, from a photo taken (during a family trip) from the top of Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa, to a background of lily pads growing in the moat of a German castle. Half of my relatives live in Germany, and, when I visit them, my camera is my constant companion—I love to capture scenes of the culture and the lush plant life of cool, gray Germany.

I wanted to create something beautiful and unexpected. I looked through my stockpile of thousands of photos I had taken over the years, envisioning possible combinations. When I located the photo with the people under the leaning tower, I knew I wanted to play with the mind of the viewer by using a different background as well as exploring size difference. I wanted the viewer to wonder: “Are the people small, or the lily pads big?”

Now that the piece is finished, I see other, deeper meanings in the scene, none of which had occurred to me while I was composing the image. To me, the scene can symbolize the fragile human footing on the planet, and serve as a reminder that we need to tread lightly within the natural systems that support our existence on Earth. However, I like to leave the interpretation open to the viewer—each person I’ve spoken to sees something different and perceives a different mood or message emanating from the image. As an artist, I relish in the beauty of nature. From that foundation, I never know where I might end up, and what commentary my art might make about the world in which we live and our interaction with it. Even though some of my art has a definite purpose at the outset, the process of taking photographs and remixing these images takes me to unanticipated destinations; this is one thing I love about art.