Influorescence: Kate Ballis and Tom Blachford

Gallerysmith-Influorescence-Tom-Blachford-and-Kate-BallisFine art photographers and life partners Kate Ballis and Tom Blachford are showing their botanical collaboration, Influorescence, at Melbourne’s Gallerysmith this November.

Taking its name from the portmanteau of inflorescence and fluorescent, this new series is the first time the acclaimed creatives have brought their talents together in a series of photography works.

The pair’s Melbourne garden is a vibrant tangle of colour and green abundance. With the seasonal blooms as their inspiration, Influorescence captures flowers grown from bulb or seed in the couple’s garden and shot in a black box studio under ultra-violet light.

The collaboration combines Ballis’ photographic quest to make seen the unseen and Blachford’s mastery of long exposure photography. The resultant works depict single flowers at a huge scale with ultra-violet light teasing out the awe-inspiring details of these natural wonders.

Exploding with colour and movement, each bloom is transformed into a wondrous microcosm reminiscent of giant constellations and far off galaxies, twinkling with stars of dust and exploding with pollen supernovas.

Continuing the other-wordly theme, the botanical images have been given astrological titles: Alcyone, Alpha Leonis, Andromeda, Arche, Iota Leonis, Pleione, Pollux and Triton. Influorescence was produced over the course of two springs and summers from 2021 to 2023.

“At scale on the wall it looks like a giant planet. When looking at it, you’re reflecting on your place in the universe,” said Kate.

Kate Ballis is a fine art photographer based in Melbourne, known for her colour-drenched images which harness infrared technology and in-camera techniques. She loves to travel to destinations that already feel out of this world and through her photography, make them feel even more foreign to the earth we know.

Kate published a book of her works, Infra Realism, in 2017 and has exhibited in shows across Australia, the US and Europe as well as featuring in magazines such as Wallpaper, AnOther and VOGUE Living.

Tom Blachford is a fine art photographer who is captivated by architecture and the ability for his camera to reveal the dark worlds beyond our reach.

A self-confessed ‘creature of the night’, Tom composes many of his works after nightfall, shooting mid-century houses and residential high rises in locations from Palm Springs and Tokyo to Bolivia.

He has exhibited in Australia, Europe and the US and his surreal, dreamlike works have been seen in Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, Monocole, i-D and many more global media titles.

Gallerysmith 170-174 Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne
Exhibition: 3 November – 2 December 2023

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Tom Blachford and Kate Ballis (supplied)