Fragility, purity, loss and freedom; flowers are a powerful symbol and have inspired artists from different times and cultures. Andy Warhol was drawn to flowers as symbols, from the blotted-line daisies of the 1950s to the Japanese ikebana prints of the 70s. From 2013 to 2015, while under house arrest Ai Weiwei placed a bouquet of fresh flowers in the basket of a bicycle outside his studio every morning for years until he regained his freedom.
What makes flowers such a powerful and versatile symbol in art? Explore this question and flowers in art of the past and present in a series of talks and special NGV Collection tour presented by artist Criss Canning, jeweller and florist Rachel Laura Gorman and NGV curators Wayne Crothers and Sophie Matthiesson.
Criss Canning is a Melbourne-based artist who, together with her husband, created an internationally renowned garden. Surrounded by plant life, Canning creates vivid still life paintings heavily influenced by natural flora and fauna.
Rachel Laura Gorman is a Melbourne-based jeweller and florist whose works are inspired by the botanical species and poetic contemplations found in her garden.