Joseph McGlennon is the recent recipient of Australia’s prestigious William and Winifred Bowness Photography Award for his photograph titled, Florilegium #1. The exotic and surreal image of two parrots, curiously perched on tropical foliage has taken home the prize for its powerful sense of wonder.
Florilegium #1, references the curiosity of early European settlers about Australia’s native flora and fauna. This single image is digitally composed of over 100 layers that McGlennon acquired by photographing landscapes all over the world.
McGlennon’s artistic exploration from foreground to background tells a utopian story about Earths array of beauty, while masterfully blending macrocosmic and microcosmic together. Although much of the photographer’s animal figures are taxidermies, the parrots of Florilegium were alive, inducing an essential life-blood into the photograph.
“It’s a very utopian scene,” he says. “I wanted it to be super-real; I wanted people to be entranced. On the Bowness Facebook page someone wrote a comment that says ‘That can’t be real?’ I loved that because that means for a second they thought it was real.”
McGlennon ventured into fine-art photography following a career in branding and advertising. He was a finalist in the Bowness prize in 2012, but this year'swinnings earned him $25,000 in prize money.