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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