For a long time roses were the things I was least interested in at the rose garden. I went to watch and photograph people. I went to watch the wedding parties who’d stop by for group portraits - in late spring the American Pillar roses on the south edge of the garden create a wall of red blossoms that make a beautiful backdrop. In May I went to see the annual arrival of promgoers and their parents, the kids in whatever the current prom finery is and their parents in jeans and cameras. I also went to see families getting their pictures taken, being artistically grouped amongst the roses, each family member wearing a shirt of the same hue. And in recent years, as it’s become more common, I went to see the fifteen year-old girls in their aqua-blue quincenterra dresses having their portraits taken. Polly, my dog, always accompanied me on these trips. Her outgoing personality made me braver about interrupting people to take their picture. When she died last year I stopped going for a while and when I went back my interest had shifted. I’d become interested in the roses, particularly the climbing roses. I like watching how they would change from week to week, month to month. At some point I decided to photograph them.

Mike Sinclair, 2015

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