What does your office plant say about you? After spending time in various corporate offices, London-based photographer Polly Brown decided it was time to make a book highlighting the varieties. Published by Pau Wau, this luxurious 120 page book is a quirky look inside some of the largest offices. To celebrate the book, the team at Pau Wau spoke to Polly about her inspiration behind the project.
Where did you take the first official PLANT photo? And when did you know it was a project you wanted to pursuit in more depth?
I think the very first was Vivienne Westwood. I had been to the studio a bunch of times and noticed a large palm they keep in the main corridor. The palm kind of became a person in my mind and I took his picture everytime I was there. The plant soon became synonymous with my view of the brand. I started to notice plants in other office and studios after that, I liked the idea that these plant were silent functioning elements of the companies. I liked the idea of elevating them. Originally the project was a 12 image series but it just didn't stop growing, once I started I wanted to collect them all. Google, Microsoft, Burberry. There are still some I still itch to shoot - especially Coca Cola.
Have you ever had the desire to work in an office? And if you did what plant would be on your desk?
I have never had the opportunity to work in an office which is maybe why I am so fascinated by them as spaces and environments. When you start to think about them they are a bizarre microcosm; the furniture and architecture are reduced to their most functional; you sit next to the same person, sometimes for years on end, and there are office politics about the coffee machine.
If I did work in an office I think I would have a Spider Plant.
Do you own any plants and have you ever let any die?
I own a bunch of succulents that I've trained to be pretty self sufficient. I'm away a lot.
I did have a Kentia palm that managed to live through three years of neglect whilst I was a student. Shamefully he did not last year four. I still feel bad about it.
What is your favorite plant? What’s your least favorite?
My favorite plants are geraniums, and while I don't have a least favorite - I do have a slight mistrust toward orchids.
How did you discover Pau Wau and what made you decide to approach us for the project?
I was doing some research into independent publishers and I came across Pau Wau. I thought you guys made beautiful publications that have great concepts and ideas.You also had a rad name.
What's next for Polly Brown?
I'm working on two new projects at the moment one called EARS and one called HOTELS.