After 25 years in the workforce, Jay Ruland decided to go back to school and, not surprisingly, found himself surrounded by 20-somethings. While he says he was welcomed by his junior contemporaries, he was struck by the way they perceive the world; that is, the things they found to be beautiful also tended to be as young as they were. As a 50-something, Jay says the aging process is beautiful in itself, and the desire to show that is the basis for his Withering Roses floral photography series, which will be featured in his new solo exhibition at The Image Flow As the Allure Fades opening on May 14.
“The younger students sort of had a bias toward things in society that are young and pretty, and we’re taught through the media that younger is better. But if you look closer in nature, things that are getting older are still beautiful and the process itself is a beautiful process,” says Jay.
He chose to work with roses because they are a societal symbol for beauty, something you’d give on a first date or use to decorate your house, but also because they can communicate ideas, from the number you give to the color, and transgress cultural barriers.