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The Language of Flowers | Lori Pensini
August 29, 2019 - October 5, 2019
Throughout the history of the world civilisations have used botanical symbols and images. They have woven their forms into the cultural fabric of societies, embedding self and community expression through literature and art to form an unspoken crypto logical language .. floriography – the language of flowers
For this body of work, I have taken iconic Australian native botanicals and morphed their ecological characteristics with the human form to reflect attributes of each sitter’s personality. The flower, totem like, becomes the voice and conveys their strength. I reference the beautiful 1891 manual ‘Language of Australian Flowers’ by George Robertson who maintains the language of nature as an important part in the federation of Australian colonies.
All of the portraits are defined by flora endemic to Western Australia and/or the south west region I grew up in. Most of my subjects are relatives or depictions of their mettle. The denotations describing the characters are conveyed from turns of phrase used by my family that have principally wrought our dispositions, past and present. In essence, they are memoirs from my life’s book.
Importantly, by painting Australian flora I aim to highlight the widening gap of disconnection from our environment by creating awareness to its fragility. Synthesising traits akin to both plant and human emphasises the need for us to recommit to the health of both.