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Through Floral Being
My most recent work looks at how Western culture has depicted, used and described flowers in relationship to women; and influenced our perceptions of femininity. In response, I started making my own immersive, bodily florascapes, where flowers are imbued with agency, physicality, sexuality and life. In my large-scale paintings, the plants are given a majestic and powerful status, depicted not as victims or specimens of the objective gaze, but instead as appealing agents that can build consciousness and create a sense of connectivity. With an emphasis on vibrant colours, varied texture and atmospheric light, my work is inspired by the Baroque and Rococo, Pre-Raphaelite painting, Dutch floral still life painting, the Hudson River School, 18th century botanical exploration, surrealism, cosmology and the work of Georgia O’Keeffe.
I am enamoured by the wonders of the natural world and want to emphasise human interaction with nature, as an intimate and phenomenological experience. Within my paintings, I embrace the sensational pleasures, wonder, and intimate enjoyment of plants as a powerful and elusive site of transformation. Instead of imposing a preconceived vision onto the flowers I encounter, the process of viewing, perceiving and depicting these plants is a subjective and evolving experience, focused on immersive feeling and sensory expansiveness. They are an entryway to the unknown, the sensual and the sacred: continually challenging categorisation and the traditional notions used to define them.
School of Arts & Humanities
Drawing from my experiences as a woman, who feels both empowered and constrained by my physicality and sexuality, I paint as a means to better understand the intimate relationships between the surfaces, depths and desires of my body, and the environments I occupy.
Enticing the viewer into a world simultaneously realistic and fantastic, each painting establishes a deeper illusionistic space that is at once receding into and physically emerging from the surface of the canvas, earth, and at times, my own flesh. These living, breathing landscapes create an unsettling tension of attraction and repulsion by juxtaposing forms of celestial space, nature and the feminised body on a micro and macro scale.
- BA (Hons) Studio Art, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, 2015