Bloomed: Agapanthus
Bloomed: Agapanthus
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video 1

Bloomed: Agapanthus

2016
Agapanthus africanus
Agapanthus africanus
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The agapanthus, also known as the "Lily of the Nile" of "African Lily", blooms in round clusters of blue, white, or indigo flowers. Their blossoms are funnel shaped with elegant lilac pollen colouring the anthers. In traditional medicine, the agapanthus is believed to possess both medicinal and magical powers. It is the plant of fertility and pregnancy and is used in various prenatal medicines in addition to being worn by women as a charm to bring strong, healthy babies.In the 'Language of Flowers', the agapanthus means "love letter", and the many flowers that make up the umbel softly open and close like a lover's note, revealing the delicate blue stamens and petals. Its animations are soft and synchronised to best show the fine detail of the many stemmed flower.

"Jan Van Huysum (active in the 17th and 18th centuries) was one of the greatest painters of still life, and specialised in the skilled representation of flowers. In the National Gallery’s Flowers in a Terracotta Vase (1736) the eye roves across a static landscape of flowers, the painter imbues life and vivacity in the work with the addition of butterflies, flies and the bowing, curling, explosion of  stems that support the flower heads, almost all of which are in full bloom – timed to open like a synchronised firework. Here and there, a droplet falls. The grapes and peaches feel ripe and good enough to eat. As we further inspect the piece, things begin to take on a surreal twist, the perspective feels strange, like the vase is sliding into the background, the small nest of eggs feels glued on and all the insects are suspended in animation, or posed as if nothing will take flight.

Harris’ Bloomed Wall (2017) pays homage to this genre of still life painting. In these works, the artist fully embraces the surreal, anachronistic nature of the arrangement of many different varieties of flower in coordinated bloom. Unlike in nature the flowers are made to last, rather than a real-life simulation they are caricatures, an abstraction of the real thing. The flowers sway and react to the viewer’s movements as if attached to springs, jostling for position, docking themselves like spaceships into their position on the grid, petals open and close but never fall from the stem. In some ways, it is the logical conclusion of a still life genre which aimed to capture the ecstatic moment of the hyper-real bloom than any perceived objective reality."

Extract from
essay by Sunny Cheung

Year:

2016

Edition:

Edition of 8 + 2 Artist Proofs + 2 Museum Proofs

Materials:

Code, software, display screen, electronics, sensor, aluminium, acrylic

Details:

Dimensions in MM:

Large:
446 (W) x 518 (H) x 72 (D) mm

Dimensions in INCHES:

Large:
17.5 (W) x 20.3 (H) x 2.8 (D) inches