Professional artist inspired by the colours, surprises and secretive life of plants
To date, my studio work has explored the amazing life of plants in specific settings and arrangements. Recently, I have been interested in the construction of landscaped gardens through the concept of heterotopia - a space that can be characterised by incompatible juxtapositions that can produce ambiguity and disturbance. Botanic gardens have long fascinated me as highly curated and culturally constructed spaces in which humans and plants co-exist, interact and collaborate with each other. The ambiguous effects this can produce, such as the visual confusion from observing plants that would not grow together in nature, render these gardens fascinating heterotopias. My aim is to create work that examines the ambiguity, incompatibility and strange beauty that arises from an engagement with these botanic spaces.
One major concern has been the development of visual languages through striking colour palettes, stencilling and the use of spray paint and acrylic to re-interpret the constructedness of these landscaped gardens. My work is less concerned with historical tradition of representing and celebrating the garden as a marvel of human control over nature, than with how plants and humans collaborate in botanic gardens where plants, not humans, are given primacy. Indeed, plants labelled as 'weeds' feature in some of my work as interesting plants in their own right, but whose occupation in the botanic garden is marginal and deemed undesirable. These plants may also have a place in botanic heterotopias despite efforts to eliminate them.