Space Flowers, 2014

Space Flowers (2016), 4 x 4.5ft, Italian canvas, acrylic

This painting is about the mystery of what we do not know. We think that we have learned a great deal but there is so much that we cannot understand or even begin to really know about. These flowers symbolise the unexpected and unknown. We only learn when we accept that, in fact, we do not know much.  The search for the unexpected is the adventure and basis of creativity. In fact, these “flowers” definitely do not look like ordinary flowers.  They look like discs and include a reference to mandalas.

I used the word “space” in the title of this painting. However, this can mean more than outer space and also refer to the inner space of everything. There are many peculiar things wherever we look. Like strange insects, bacteria, cells, neutrons, and protons that all pulsate with a presence. These space flowers symbolise this presence.  When you look carefully you can see that there are many elements in this painting that are related to measurement and distance. They show things are attached and connected in unexpected ways.

Sometimes when I begin a painting, I work with an unexpected image in my head that does not make any sense but as I keep working, I see the solutions. The image starts appearing and I start flowering in my mind just like you can see in this painting. 

The cracked surfaces painted on the base symbolise growth and change. Of course, there are stars.  My name means “starry”, so I often have a tendency to play around with stars in my artwork. I have included stars here; flowers jump from the stars! There is even a feeling of movement in the inclusion of colourful fireworks, though the feeling is much more solid and permanent than actual fireworks.

The play of colours and shadows is important in this work because they help give the sensation of a three-dimensional world. Of course, the third dimension that we humans see may look totally different from the point of view of a plant, an animal or even a machine! Everything that is experienced is subject to who is looking at what, and what abilities they have to understand what they see.