"Everbloom: and an extract of rose"
Opening: Wednesday 2 August, 6-8pm
Dates: 2 August - 26 August 2017
This exhibition presents one large- scale painting in two components titled ‘Everbloom: and an extract of rose’. The painting positioned in isolation presents the idea of an impossible garden in constant bloom. Simultaneously, there is a lemon climbing rose, white wisteria, Yamazakura- wild mountain cherry blossom, pale purple wisteria tendrils, jasmine, peony, magnolia, daphne, violet and lily of the valley. A lipstick pink rose is a further extracted detail occupying its own plot on canvas. I picture an imagined Utopic garden at odds with natural cycles. These flowers do not bloom at the same time, their seasons range from Winter, to late winter, early Spring and throughout to high Summer. Furthermore, the origins of the gathered sources of the flowers range from Japan, Giardino di Ninfa south of Rome, Fitzroy, the Dandenong hills in Victoria. This dreamed perfection is at once a place of romantic isolation, a collapse of geographies, roaming to another place, an invented garden, at odds with the bitterness of now, swinging between dreaming and escape.
I recall the impressive follies of Count Des Esseintes, as fictionalized by J.K Huysmans in 1884, who created an over sensitive reclusive aesthete whose desperate attempts to improve on nature were doomed to failure. In Japan, too, nature is superbly articulated to appear improved and more acutely focussed in the practices of both ikebana and bonsai. Elements extracted, removed, clipped, curved, un-natured to become a more vividly precise meta-version of itself.
In 1989, I made a painting ‘The Most Beautiful Plant’ that pictured the idea of all my favourite flowers growing from one stem. This was not a vision of botanical genetic engineering, which was not so much in public discussion at that time, but a fanciful dreaming of an imagined yet impossible plant. It was an overloaded proposal for a hyper opulent sensuality pictured in the sex glands of a chorus of flowers. Its upright stem stood tremulously, also in isolation in an open otherwise unpopulated landscape.
I was recently reminded of this earlier painting of nearly 30 years ago on a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria. Wandering through an exhibition devoted to a collection of ikebana vessels, I stopped to look at a print by Yamamoto Baitsu made in 1849 of an abundantly overflowing arrangement of flowers of the four seasons, ‘Flowers of the four season (Shikisoga-zu)’. The image appeared so abundantly normal and yet was also an invented simultanea, a union of all seasons and all possible beauties.
‘Everbloom: and an extract of rose’ revisits these ideas and fuses them into a powdered particle form. These flowers are no longer their fleshy form poised for their sexual purpose. They have evaporated to an atomic state. I present an ether zone that draws upon all senses to perceive it. Impressions of scent overlap with ocular observation. Silently, the image is grasped just as much by breathing in. In stillness, this vision is dreamt into being, now belonging to unfixed space and a part of us that is indeterminately Ever.
Rosslynd Piggott — July 16 2017
Rosslynd Piggott’s work has received wide acclaim, having been represented in over 50 important solo exhibitions and numerous curated events both nationally and internationally. A strong exhibition history beginning in 1981, the artist has maintained a very prolific practice, across multiple disciplines including painting, drawing, object and installation. Piggott’s work is slow and deliberate, often using natural forms and systems as a starting point to engage with the elusive and ungraspable, across a wide range of media and technique.
Major presentations include a solo show ‘Suspended Breath’ at The National Gallery of Victoria in 1998, ‘Trace’, the inaugural Liverpool Biennial 1999, ‘Extract: in 3 parts’ at Australia Centre for Contemporary Art in 2008, ‘Shelter’ 2006- 2010 as part of ‘Songs of Survival: Beauty in a Precarious Age’, Biennial of Sydney 2010, ‘Dividing Infinity: A Room for Painting’, TarraWarra Museum of Art, 2011 and ‘Murmur’, 2013 at The Johnston Collection.
She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, overseas studios in Italy, Paris and Japan. In 2011 she held a residency at the British School at Rome. From 2013 -14 she was the Australia Council artist in residence at Acme Studio in London. Recently she has been working with glass artisans in Murano, Venice as part of an ongoing project. She has been invited to hold a solo show of these glass works and recent paintings at the Museum of Glass, Murano, Venice in 2017.
This project coincides with the solo exhibition "Mirror shift (doubled)" at Sutton Gallery, presenting the artists' exquisite glass works.
Opening: Saturday 5th of August, 4–6pm.
Exhibition dates: 5th August—2nd September, 2017.
Documentation by Christo Crocker.