Description of works:
The images exhibited in Botanical Fandango have all been fashioned from vegetables and other botanical specimens. They have been observed and recorded by me during various stages of decomposition, and through a process of drawing and re-imagining, a series of ‘creatures’ have evolved to create this suite of paintings. The forms that have developed as a result have provided a rich seam of material to explore. The transmogrification of flesh as decay evolves has provided a platform from which to create an alternate world peopled by these imagined creatures.
As a committed vegetable gardener I have spent significant time tilling the soil. Many of the specimens in this exhibition began life in my own garden and those who know me well are used to seeing vegetables in various states of decay scattered about my home. These cavorting figures of fancy are reminiscent of and reference back to both C17th Dutch still life painting and Elizabethan portraiture.
The works explore the concept of memento mori - remember you will die, which was a familiar motif in C16th & C17th paintings. Issues around food, death, decay and transversely the joy of life are evident, the exuberance and implied motion these works exude clearly indicate a sense of dance – reinforced by the choice of titles and returning again to referencing the dance of life & conversely death.