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Art + Design Store – Friday Feature – Caladium

July 8, 2011

Today’s instalment in the Art + Design Store – Friday Feature column, where I look more closely at one of the artworks in my Art + Design Store, is about the limited edition giclée print Caladium, which featured in my recent solo exhibition: Collected Patterns: The botany of Walter Hill. Part of a series of six giclée prints, printed on 100% cotton rag Hahnemühle fine art paper using long-life pigment inks, this white on black work was inspired by the dedicated research of Walter Hill, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens’ first and most significant curator (1855-1881).

Indigenous to Brazil and neighbouring areas of South and Central America, Caladiums grow in open areas of forest and banks of creeks and become dormant during the dry season. Some species are grown as ornamental plants for their large, arrowhead-shaped leaves and are often known as ‘Elephant Ear’, ‘Heart of Jesus’, and ‘Angel Wings’. They have been in cultivation in Europe since the late 18th century and Walter Hill’s Conservatory in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens was often full of seedlings he was rearing to either plant in the Gardens or distribute throughout Queensland.

This was the second design I completed in the series and I found the form of the Caladium naturally leant itself to an art nouveau influenced pattern. A simple technique of reverse mirroring part of the motif was used to create the pattern, and achieve balance and harmony within the design. Early in the development of all work in this series, I realised that the strength of these designs would lie in paired-back linework and the Caladium really brought this notion home.

Hope you enjoy the work, it’s facts and history as much as I did researching and making it. The prints are part of an edition of 10 and there are still some available in the Store.

There are lots more facts and artwork details to come in this column, so keep following on Fridays for the next artwork featured in the Art + Design Store!

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