The still life floral arrangements that populate florist Simone Gooch and photographer Derek Henderson’s collaborative project Rosa both expound and subvert the loaded historical and aesthetic potentials of its central subject matter. Having been commissioned by John Tebbs of Pleasure Garden magazine to visit Matthews Nurseries Ltd. – a multigenerational family rose farm in Whanganui, New Zealand, known throughout the world for its unique rose breeding program – in 2018, Gooch and Henderson were so taken by their experience that they returned of their own accord the following year, working with the Matthews family to source, select and cut the plethora of unique rose varieties that appear in the book.

The results are quiet yet spectacular, poetic yet expressive, with Henderson capturing Gooch’s highly sculptural, unconventionally elegant floral signature with the kind of casual warmth and formalist precision that have come to define his photographic career. These works call to the classical and the contemporary in equal voice. Rosa – which includes an extensive interview with the Matthews family and a detailed flower index – makes a compelling new case for the time-honoured queen of flowers.

Simone Gooch founded Fjura in Sydney, Australia, in 2005 after working in the floristry industry for a decade. In 2015, she relocated the business to London, where she has garnered an international reputation and clientele for her studio-based practice, drawing on her passion for high-quality, seasonal and locally produced flowers, and highly considered installations and arrangements. Her clients include Aesop, Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Gucci, Hermès, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Sotheby’s, alongside various print publications, set designers and private clients.

New Zealand-born photographer Derek Henderson lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife Kate and children Lola and Theo. In a career spanning three decades between New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, he has amassed an international following for an output encompassing fashion, architecture, still life and documentary modes of landscape and portraiture. His photography appears in publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Holiday, i-D, Mastermind, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, American Vogue, British Vogue and Vogue Australia. His work is held in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, New Zealand; and the Wallace Arts Centre, Pah Homestead, New Zealand. Rosa is his seventh book.

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