PICTORIAL STORY

July 1, 2022

FLORA ARCANA

Photography and words by Mário Pires

Flora - the name by which the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility was known. The fact that we can find prior deities with similar characteristics (such as the nymph Chloris from Greek mythology), only goes to show mankind’s immemorial fascination with flowers’ exuberance and variety.

Arcana - singular feminine form of ‘arcano’ (in Portuguese), from the Latin arcanus. Meaning secret, obscure, mysterious, known only to a small group of people.

Flowers have their own language and communicate between themselves in a dimension inaccessible to humans. I believe that once existed a common language that enabled all living creatures to communicate with each other, but humans have forgotten that language, just like we’ve forgotten everything else that connected us to the natural world.

We wanted to create our own world, with our own rules, in a vain attempt to surpass nature’s ingenuity.

Flowers are life sources, spreading their seeds, far beyond their location. The connection we had with that fertilizing power has long been lost.

My wish to rebuild that lost connection was this project’s guiding light. Each of these images tries to break that barrier and restore the lost bond between us.

Working and living in Lisbon, Portugal, Mário has a double life. By day he lends his energy and knowledge to a training centre. By night he drinks from the cup of his creation and becomes an alchemist. He works in photography, both digital and analog, video, calligraphy and music.

Mário started capturing light in 1984. He believes that rust never sleeps, and that we should keep adapting, learning and evolving. He believes in the redeeming power of beauty. He believes that goddesses, muses and nymphs exist to guide the artist in finding a way out of the chaos of his internal labyrinth. He believes that artists should not be defined by the tools they use, but their work and actions. He believes that an artist's fire is only kept alive when they immerse fearlessly into their unconscious. He believes that artists never retire, unless it is for a short while to a house in the woods.