Last spring I was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to create the award objects for the August 2018 Governor’s Awards for the Arts recipients. My design proposal for “Cross-Pollinated Bloom” was approved and I spent most of the summer of 2018 creating six unique works of art made with hand-embroidered linen and acryla gouache painted on laser cut wood.
Inspired by the idea of what I might discover in a cross-pollinated secret garden, these sculptures are a compilation and abstraction of real and imagined forms including orchids, ferns, poppies, pomegranates and butterflies. My work is not intended to be an exact likeness of any real plant, but rather a playful and tactile imagining of a flowering form that at once seems familiar and unreal.
Each sculpture is composed of two laser-cut components. These painted, wooden, puzzle-like pieces interlock at the base, to stand on a root ball. A central stem rises just over twelve inches high and fern leaves coil to the side. Embracing the main bud form is a heavily embroidered collar of linen, which draws on the alluring colors of early summer poppies and the rich patterns of butterfly wings, representing the relationship between petal and pollinator. It is my hope that this work makes manifest the value of beauty in our daily lives and serves as a reminder that the ground on which we walk is fertile, and holds potential for new life and growth each spring.