Anthomania/Anthophobia

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

I stumbled upon a new word recently which I would like to share with you this month:

anthomania :

Excessive or passionate enthusiasm for flowers.

“Meet me in the Labyrinth” detail

If i think back, it probably started in 2017 already when I prepared a body of work for a show called “Incognito” :

“Forget-me-not” (Myositis arvensis) 64 x 51 cm Cotton thread and rubber 2017

For the Incognito, solo exhibition at MContemporary I was inspired by flowers with interesting common names.  By combining flowers with self-portraits and animal skulls I felt that they became like masks, concealing the true identity.

So two years later..and now I am even more obsessed with flowers. Real and imaginary. and I am happy to say that I have some new work on its way to Australia again:

“Right of admission reserved” Cotton thread and rubber 85 x 60 cm (2019)

Maybe my so-called ‘anthomania’ started way before 2017…when I was 7years old. My mother was a florist back then…only for a short while.

I remember vaguely how she went for a course in the art of flower-arrangement. Unfortunately I was too little to really appreciate it.

After her death in 1996, I only liked dead things, and decaying flowers. One could say i was “Anthophobic”. When I was studying art, I thought that flowers were too pretty, and decided then to never use them in my art. I didn’t like pretty things.

Well, never say never…

So these days I embroider fantasy blooms on smaller pieces of rubber, arrange them in a collage-like manner and I’ll admit it gives me much joy doing this.

I am expanding my interest to “floriography” (The language of flowers)

  Gifts of blooms, plants, and specific floral arrangements were used to send a coded message to the recipient, allowing the sender to express feelings which could not be spoken aloud in Victorian society. Armed with floral dictionaries, Victorians often exchanged small “talking bouquets”, called nosegays or tussie-mussies, which could be worn or carried as a fashion accessory. -wikipedia

this interest is probably due to my ‘anthomania’ and fascination with codes as well as these manuscripts (which is still would like to ‘read’):

Voynich Manuscript

Codex Seraphinianus

But for now I’m just happily stitching away at rubber-flowers. Let’s see where this takes me.

Hang in there (detail)

 

 

 

 

 

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Greetings from the studio…2019

Studio news/blog

Yikes, already 11 days into the new year, but for me the ‘new year’ officially starts when the children goes back to school. It allows for some quiet contemplative time in the studio.

Usually I try not to make new years resolutions, but with that said, this year I aim to spend more time in the garden,

“Om grond te eet is goed vir sooibrand/ eating dirt is good for heartburn” Embroidery on rubber – Private collection

and focus on cultivating a good posture while working.  Also to practice more yoga and to breathe deep.

“Vanity is becoming a nuisance; I can see why women give it up, eventually. But I’m not ready for that yet” – quote from the book Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood

I wish you all a prosperous 2019!

and remember:

“Your craziness is another’s reality” embroidered rubber – Private collection

 

 

Exit to exist!

Studio news/blog

It’s been a week since my last stitch!! Yikes.

The whole week I have been unpacking box after box…sorting, rearranging, pondering… because I desperately want my studio back in ‘working’ order.

So, I thought it is relevant to share this image of the work “Exit to exist” with you today, because:

Exit to exist (photograph of my work by Shenaz Mohammed)

  1.  Things/objects exit the boxes to exist in their ‘new’ space. This whole process makes me think back to the first time I moved from my parental home to a tiny Student Village room in Port Elizabeth. All my belongings could  easily fit into a couple of square meters back then.  I cannot get it over my heart to throw out all the letters, photographs and other memorabilia.  With every year more memories are made, and since then (1996), with every move these memories tag along, and it gets harder and harder to let go.

2.  The group exhibition: Forward! Forward? Forward! opened last night at the University of Stellenbosch.  “Exit to exist” will be hanging out with some amazing company. The exhibition will run for 4 months, so feel free to pop in if you can.

She never promised you a rose garden…

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

She never promised you a rose garden detail

This is one of those works that has gone through many transformations, but finds itself part of the Minutes to Midnight exhibition currently showing at 99 Loop gallery in Cape Town until the 27th of October! I started working on it in 2015. It is quite large…215 x 142 cm.

She never promised you a rose garden detail 2

Its inspired by a couple of things

*Childhood memories of an Afrikaans nursery rhyme we sang during a game we used to play, which goes like this:

“Koljander, Koljander so deur die bos,

my ma en pa kook lekker kos,

die kinders verstik aan n druiwe tros,

die laaste een se kop word af gekap…”

The English version is probably almost like “human-crocqhet”

but here follows a description of the one we used to play”

Koljander, Koljander so deur die bos

Twee spelers hou mekaar se hande in die lug vas terwyl die ander onderdeur moet loop. Die twee bepaal vooraf wie die lemoen en wie die suurlemoen gaan wees. Terwyl die spelers onderdeur die arms loop, sing die twee wat die arms omhoog hou ‘Koljander, Koljander so deur die bos. My ma en pa kook lekker kos, my boetie verstik aan ‘n druiwetros, die laaste een se kop word af gekap! Kiep, Kiep, Kiep Kap! Met die noem van Kap laat hulle dadelik hulle hande sak om die persoon wat op daardie stadium daar is toe te vou. Die gevangene word eenkant toe geneem en gevra waarvan hy hou, lemoene of suurlemoene, waarna hy agter daardie speler wat hy kies moet gaan staan.

Die speler wat gevang word, moet sy keuse tussen die twee maak sonder dat die ander spelers mag weet wat elk van die twee persone voorstel. As al die spelers klaar hulle keuses gemaak het, trek die twee spanne gewoonlik teen mekaar tou, en dit vind soos volg plaas, die twee spelers wat hulle arms omhoog gehou het, vat mekaar aan die voorarms vas terwyl elkeen se spanlede die speler voor hom om die lyf vashou. Die span wat eerste val is die verloorder.

detail

  • Teenage Trauma: I don’t want to talk about it now…

She never promised you a rose garden detail 3

and  * the title is inspired by the lyrics of song: Rose Garden (Lynn Anderson) – which I remember from a time growing up…… and I quote:

I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine
There’s gotta be a little rain some time
When you take you gotta give so live and let live
Or let go oh-whoa-whoa-whoa
I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden

She never promised you a rose garden 215 x 142 cm 2018 (reworked) cotton thread and rubber

So smile for a while and let’s be jolly
Love shouldn’t be so melancholy
Come along and share the good times while we can

*Photographs of my work taken by : Kleinjan Groenewald

Yarn…

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

I am delighted to inform you that I am participating alongside some amazing artists in a group exhibition titled: “Yarn” which opened on Sunday the 21st at IS Art in Franschoek, Western Cape, South Africa. If you missed the opening, don’t despair, the exhibition runs until the 11th of November 2018.

The sheep that ate her flower 33 x 40 cm paper, cotton thread and rubber

the sheep ate her flower detail

and for those who cannot make it to South Africa to see the show, here is some more images of my work for this exhibition:

Mary’s gold – embroidered rubber

Mary’s gold detail

and since I could not attend the opening as well…I hope to share some installation images as soon as I receive them from the gallery…but until then…

Sacred heart

Sacred heart detail

Feel free to contact the gallery directly for more information:

IS ART at 11 Huguenot Road
Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa, 7690

CONTACT

IS ART

021 876 2071

*photographs of my work courtesy of Kleinjan Groenewald