This pomegranate seeds photograph isn’t just a pretty picture

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and this shot with the insects and the pomegranate seeds is a perfect example. Here Jo Whaley explains how she created this unique photograph, and exactly what she was trying to say with it.

A Photograph with a Message

Jo Whaley: This piece, called Overripe Population, features insets and pomegranate seeds. With this one I painted a backdrop and set the objects directly on the backdrop and photographed it. I used the cast shadows so I was very careful with diffused lighting, but fairly even. (click the image for a larger version)

The symbol here is a pomegranate that has busted open and seeds are scattered all over the place. In the middle are two fornicating insects.

I got started using insects in this body of work because in the paintings from the 17th through the 19th century, the insects were a symbol of the decay of matter. Because their lifespan is short, they were also the symbol of the fleeting nature of life itself. These paintings were known as vanitos paintings, that no matter what man creates time and nature will take it back.

The pomegranate is a symbol of fertility. I always see overpopulation as part of our environmental problems, so this is my own version of the fertility symbol of the renaissance which is the pomegranate.

In Conclusion

Some pictures are pretty to look at, while others are a bit deeper in nature. This photograph of pomegranate seeds may not be the typical still shot of ripe fruit on the table, but it’s a photo that tells a deeper story that’s worthy of contemplation.