Exhibiting at the entrance to Wallington Hall from Saturday, 9th July 2011
Using the plant, Alternanthera, I have spelt out the words 'Unfinished business' in two raised flowerbeds, facing the main clock tower. The work started life as a reaction to an unfinished Ruskin painting of a flower in the main hall. Once established, I soon became aware of the larger implications of the phrase. The work became a metaphor for Wallington's thirst for contemporary art, started by the Trevelyan family and William Bell Scott. I would like to think that in some way, these values of artistic expression is just as prevalent today.
Flowers have played a pivotal role in the history of Fine Art and are in many ways one of the ultimate subject matters for artists. I use flowers within my practice as a way to highlight impermanence, destruction and death. This follows in the tradition of Vanitas art, a feature used in Pre-Raphaelite art. Subtle clues, hidden within William Bell Scott's painting of Bede's death in the main hall remind us of that trend: We can see the sand timer, the skull and the extinguished candle. These are all symbols pointing us to a reminder of our own transient mortality.
'The whole point of flowers is that they die' - Francis Bacon.