Flowers in a contemporary painting practice
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Citation:Cervin, J. (2013) Flowers in a contemporary painting practice. Unpublished exegesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Masters of Design by Project Unitec Institute of Technology
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2575
This project originated from a cornucopia of personal experiences that informed a perspective shaped by a life growing up surrounded by flowers in the context of a large creative family and a domestic-craft background. This confluence of personal experiences and tacit knowledge acquired through years developing a painting technique which had its in origins in decorative folk art, formed the foundation for this Masters of Design project. This document considers the personal and historical significance of the flower in art and in social practices. My research explores the relevance and resonance of flower painting in a contemporary art practice. Historical research into traditional vanitas painters connects with explorations of contemporary materials and painterly applications. This body of work made as a result of this project was intended to rejuvenate the flower for its audiences and to evoke a positive collective response. Feminist and post feminist art has been referenced, not as political comment, but rather as a celebration of the repetitive and the decorative, qualities that have long been associated with women‟s craft. An investigation into obsessive and intuitive processes of art making, developed into the realisation of an excessively painted floral studio project. This series of visual inquiries has generated unique ways of communicating the sustainability of the flower in painting. The industrial surfaces amalgamating with traditional feminine floral motifs highlighted the dichotomy inherent in domestic and industrial contexts and materials. The floral garlands that decoratively frame idealised and imagined landscape‟s have extended possible conversations and provided a context that intends to refresh readings of the works. Frames within frames and alternative central images were explored - As my personal landscape shifted, so did my work. The body of work crafted for this project is framed from a personal perspective and the historical developments of flower painting in Western art. This practice delights in the celebration and the rejuvenation of the floral motif within a contemporary painting practice and the shared human pleasure that this can avail.