The title came first, Mona Kuhn explains. “Bushes and succulents! Of course!” she says. “It just seemed to appear. It’s cheeky, but it seemed to fit with what was going on in LA.” There was a drought in Los Angeles, the German-Brazilian photographer’s adopted home – green gardens, covered in grass and flowers and irrigated by an artificial and dwindling water supply, had browned, wizened and dried away. But the city’s more botanically minded residents had responded by planting gardens comprised entirely of succulents. In the drought the old gardens died, but the succulents, in all their strange shapes and sizes, were able to thrive.
“These plants seemed to be able to endure so much. They had a power of endurance through good and bad times,” Kuhn says. “That echoed, I thought, the way women have survived through the ages. And, I couldn’t help but think to myself – the succulents, they looked like vulvas.”