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the language of flowers

Aug 31 - Sept 29 2019   opening  - Sat Aug 31 2-4pm 
Gallerysmith  - marita@gallerysmith.com.au   T: 03 9329 1860  170-174 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne, Vic, 3051
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artist statement -  

Throughout the history of the world civilisations have used botanical symbols and images. They have woven their forms into the cultural fabric of societies, embedding self and community expression through literature and art to form an unspoken crypto logical language .. floriography - the language of flowers. In this exhibition I have taken iconic Australian native botanicals and morphed their ecological characteristics with the human form to reflect attributes of the sitters personality. The flower, totem like, becomes the voice and conveys ones strength. I reference the beautiful 1891 manual ‘Language of Australian Flowers’ by George Robertson who attains the language of nature is an important part in the federation of Australian colonies. All of the portraits are defined by flora endemic to Western Australia and/or the south west region I grew up in. Most of my subjects are relatives or depictions of their mettle. The denotations describing the characters are conveyed from turns of phrase used by my family that have principally wrought our dispositions, past and present. In essence, they are memoirs from my life book. Importantly, by painting Australian flora I also aim to highlight the widening gap of disconnection from our environment by creating awareness to its fragility. Synthesising traits akin to both plant and human emphasises the need for us to recommit to the health of each