Flowers as Words
‘What a charming conceit it is to communicate through flowers instead of words.’ - Taken from ‘The Illuminated Language of Flowers’ text by Jean Marsh. A book I picked up in a local charity shop, more so for the illustrations and not the words. Those words however resonated deeply and I’ve found myself returning to it it times of uncertainty or frustration.
I don’t know why, but I am forever drawn to flowers. For absolutely ages, it was really grating on me - I couldn’t seem to steer my work and drawing away from botanical themes. I wanted my work to look ‘cool/ minimal/ not floral.’ When I’d be drawing or painting, the subject would always morph into these organic, fluid shapes that would resemble plant matter. I’m not sure when it happened, but there was a point that I stopped trying to force my work into a box and allow myself to like what I like, paint what felt right, and it was just so that often the subject was flora and fauna. Not always, but a lot of the time. I’m still working on it, but find much more joy in my work now than a year ago, and have equally found more fluidity and simplicity without trying to.
Recently, the more time I have spent appreciating them, the more enchanted I am by them. They’re absolute magic. It’s this appreciation that has strengthened my view that it’s imperative we look after the nature we have. For me, this comes in the form of painting and drawing - taking the time to notice my surrounds proves to be a very meditative process. I want to extend this process to others and invite you to try it. Not necessarily the drawing part, but the taking notice one. Leave your phone at home, take your dog, a sketchbook or whatever you want and just look at how much beauty we have around us. I don’t mean that to sound like my head is in the clouds (I can promise you it’s firmly fixed on my shoulders), but I have a feeling it’d do a world of good.
So, I think I’ve said about 200000 times already, but, this exhibition/body of work looks to British Wildflowers as the main source. For me that encompasses colour, line, smaller details magnified. I’m excited to share what I’ve noticed and learnt, and I’m even more excited to extend this to other people. During the exhibition, I’m planning workshops that will encourage being mindful and present, and not just within the context of flowers. I’ve invited local artists, designers and makers into the space that will be sharing their practice with you through a series of workshops that you can see here. I’ll also be hosting workshops in the space at Entrepreneurs (and outside!) during this time, but I’m most excited that these incredible makers are as enthusiastic to connect with their community as I am to host them. I hope you’ll be as excited to join us.