Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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A Ring of Flowers

I’ve never been one for flowers.

But the Thai garlands for sale all over Bangkok – some woven with roses, others with orchids – I’ve never been able to resist. They’re a fragrant offering to the spirits that permeate homes and offices, and influence every important decision.

For hedonists like me, they’re a welcome addition to a fragrant street where smoked meat, diesel, and fish sauce are the dominant notes in my neighborhood’s perfume.


One night I brought home an arm-full to scent my room.

I noticed how the light fell across the flowers and turned them into sculpture.

Then I laid them onto a dark background to bring out the mid-tones and photographed them.

And thought, “I can do something with this.”

But I had no idea what – yet. Not until I printed the negatives and photos and deconstructed them into something entirely unfamiliar.

More to come in the next installment this week.

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