Surimono 4 – Development

Our second piece of collaborative work is called ‘this ambiguous dancer’. The title refers to the form of the flower, the twisted petals, but also to the fact to the unknown identity of the species of flower in the photograph. It was a flower from the garden and I did not know the name of the plant and efforts to identify it, particularly from the photograph supplied, have been difficult. Hence the ambiguity in the title.


For a third collaboration I wanted a different background colour for a couple of reasons, firstly the next subject, a dark tulip, would not show up as well against a black background. Secondly I don’t think it would be appropriate to have a black background for every photograph, variety would be good. 

The third subject was a tulip, ‘Queen of the Night’. The flower itself is striking, but the name also has connotations e.g. to Mozart’s opera. I was reminded of a sculpture in the British Museum also called ‘The Queen of the Night’ and which is thought to depict the Mesopotamian god Ereshkigal (Collon 2005). The poem references the story of the descent of the god Ishtar to the underworld which is ruled by her sister Ereshkigal.


The story relates how Ishtar has to pass through seven gates, discarding an item of clothing at each one. After the seventh gate she is naked and has lost all her power and is killed by Ereshkigal.



Collon, D. (2005) The Queen of the Night. London: British Museum.