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Thought: Flowers for hope

Flowers have long transferred emotion into art. Writers and painters have gestured towards the softness and life cycle of a bloom since the beginning of artistic expression. Meanings are drawn from all over the world; the fragrant Jasmine flower in Hindu art reflects love, in Japanese expression the Lotus Flower symbolises rebirth with the daily opening and closing of its petals at the mercy of sun.

The connection to meaning and flowers are varied and timeless, but there is a pronounced lean into the simple frame of a flower popping up again.

You too might have found yourself doodling flowers of late. Have you noticed digital blooms are budding everywhere you look? Ranging from filters on Instagram, to the background or feature of emerging art pieces, I've been spotting these blooms since the virus starting swimming through our world in early 2020.

It's not the first time we've needed flowers. In the 1950's Andy Warhol was mad about gold-foiled irises, daisies in pop colours and roses. Yet it was in 1964 that he began a series of flowers set against foliage as a contrast to troubling times. It's believed that this series partly paid respect to the slain president, John F. Kennedy.

Flower 73, Andy Warhol, 1973

So why now? Are artists seeking a return to nature, or is nature seeking the artist? These are the questions I cannot answer, and quite frankly prefer only to observe.

Some of these are the rudimentary, meek productions of play or intentional manifestations collected into greater works of art, like that of Melbourne artists, Stephen Baker and Steven John Clark. The infallible writer and artist Tess Guinery is also on the flower trail, often accompanying flowers with prose for their purity and potential.

It's not only artists that are expressing through these free-form turns and inner circles of paint, pen and digital art. Brands of all scales are also picking up these bouncy freeform icons. It is this particular adaptation that captures my curiosity intensely. Not only are artists stamping time with beautiful works, but marketers have now caught onto the effects of the rounded edges and targeted centre a floret provides.

They are here and I'm framing them as symbols for hope and change. The cycle of life and death is forever beautiful, something that we have lost sight of in our yearn for money and power... A flower is a window to the true Earth; our the source of water, filter of sun and provider of breath.

Mother Earth is calling us to change, as her seasons and their effects will inevitably sound themselves. Flowers could be our gateway into the grace and power of this rich Truth. I encourage you to keep an eye for nature; to observe and form blossoms in your own life, whether drawn, spoken or smelled.

"There are always flowers for those to want to see them." - Henri Matisse


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