Flora & Eros
Where the bee sucks, there suck I
In a cowslip’s bell I lie.
William Shakespeare ‘The Tempest’
This body of work focuses on the colourful, complex and curious ways that native flowering plants attract their pollinators.
These colourful paintings, in oils, are based on photographs I have taken on our road trips out of Alice.They are informed by the expertise of my partner, botanist Dr. Charlie Carter. They are not botanical art in the traditional sense, as I am focussing on only a small part of the flower, not on the whole plant. And although they are very detailed, and as ‘correct’ as I have been able to make them, their intention is to raise awareness, rather than to describe.
The actual flowers are mostly smaller than a 20-cent piece, so I have greatly increased their scale, painting them from the perspective of the pollinator, or as I imagine the pollinator might approach the flower. I have intentionally employed a way of applying the paint that leaves little trace of my brush marks to avoid reference to my ‘hand’ and retain focus on the flower. You need to move into these paintings, just like a pollinator, to fully perceive their detail, rather than stand back.
This approach sets this body of work apart from my landscape work, which is mostly executed en plein air (meaning out in the environment), where changing conditions demand a speedy, gestural, application of paint. These are studio-based works, allowing me to paint slowly with ridiculously small brushes to indulge my love of detail and delicate colour shifts.
The interplay between science and art is intrinsic to all aspects of my art practice. As a citizen scientist of sorts, I hope that this body of work can raise awareness of this very important ancient relationship, one that underpins life on the planet as we know it:
Plant and Pollinator, Flora and Eros.
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All works, except for those marked SOLD, are for sale. if you are interested, please contact me directly for prices:
Mob: 0487 493 850