Dark Botanics

At the end of last year, our research team identified ‘botanics’ as a visual trend to watch in 2017. It’s been fascinating to see this theme emerging and expanding as the year has progressed.

We had spotted that botanical motifs were appearing in designs as cut-outs, shapes and patterns as well as still life photography.

flowers covers


Since then we’ve also seen more examples of ‘Dark Botanics’, where plants and flowers are used to create a more brooding, sinister or menacing atmosphere. These effects have often been achieved with muted colour tones and suggestive shapes and compositions, so that even innocuous flowers can assume darker connotations.

Superb examples of this trend can be seen in two winners in this year’s Magnum Photography Awards in the Fine Art category. Daniel Shipp’s ‘Botanical Inquiry’ series and Ellie Davies’s single image ‘Into The Woods’ both make use of dark botanical concepts, and can be viewed here (via lensculture.com):

Botanical Enquiry

Daniel Shipp ‘Botanical Inquiry’

Into The Woods

Ellie Davies - Into The Woods

We’ve included further examples above from the world of book cover art, and we’ve also created our own gallery around this theme from the Arcangel collection.

Click here to view the selection of images.