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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Flux – a group exhibition

Studio news, Studio news/blog

Dear friends,


A group of South-African Artists from conceptual Art, Design and Craft disciplines were invited to exhibit together. The exhibition explores instances where the boundaries between art,  design and craft flow into one another. It focuses on artists who reinvent traditional techniques of “crafts” like embroidery, bead-work, weaving, carpentry and paper cutting. It also explores the meaning and importance of craftsmanship in contemporary art practices.

 so…..

I decided to submit ‘self-/portraits’ for this exhibition since portraiture is a very old art form and was probably pioneered by the Egyptians and the Greeks, but in the Middle-ages Self-portraiture was a starting point because it was an age preoccupied by personal salvation and self-scrutiny.
Today self-portraits flood the internet and children in school are required to make them.
I am using a traditional craft technique= embroidery, in conjunction with the age old art-form of portraits onto an unconventional material =rubber.
Upon closer inspection, you will also notice that there is a difference in the way the “rubber canvas” (so to speak) of all 3 portraits were prepared:

In the piece titled: “Safe”

the rubber canvas consists of tiny hexagon rubber shapes which were stitched together by hand to form the basis of this work.

detail of the work titled “Safe”

“I’ll be watching you” cotton thread, rubber, batting and wood (photo Alex Hamilton)

In the piece above “I’ll be watching you”  you’ll notice that once piece of a big tractor inner tube were used;

and in the piece below “Don’t make waves”, rubber squares were stitched together with an industrial sewing machine to form the ‘rubber-canvas’

Don’t make waves 54 x 35 cm Cotton thread, batting, rubber and wood – framed (Photographer Kleinjan Groenewald) 2017

Anyway, so if you are in the Bloemfontein area, feel free to pop in at the Flux group exhibition xxx