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Art + Design Store – Friday Feature – Bromeliad

August 19, 2011

In the Art + Design Store – Friday Feature today, I look at Bromeliad, which featured in my recent solo exhibition: Collected Patterns: The botany of Walter Hill and is available in my Art + Design Store. 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).

Bromeliads are generally hardy plants and the pineapple is in fact part of the Bromeliaceae family. The Bromeliad is the last in the giclée series and while Hill lists Bromeliads year after year within the body of text in his Annual Reports on the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, he doesn’t make any special mention of them. However, I wanted to include these, like the Caladium, as an example of decorative plants cultivated by Hill. In his 1874 report he wrote, “The two reserves for shade trees and ornamental shrubs at the corners of Queen, Eagle, and Creek Streets are making good progress in the growth of their vegetation. It affords me much pleasure to observe the flourishing appearance of the plants in the grounds attached to several of the public offices, which were furnished from this establishment. They are remarked upon in eulogistic terms by visitors to the colony, and probably have had a certain effect in inducing some of the residents of Brisbane to ornament in a similar way the spare land about their houses.” So, who here doesn’t have a Bromeliad in their garden?

Quite a number of these works feature this strong, centralised ‘X’ shape, which I feel brings focus and attention to not only the works, but metaphorically to the work of Walter Hill. This design is strong and directional, showing arrow or spear-like heads. Remember when Malcolm Enright featured the work as part of his X Collection on Ephemeral-Male?

Hope you enjoy the resulting artwork from this investigation, 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, but have been selling well…

There are still a few works to look at in this column, so keep following on Fridays for the next artwork featured in the Art + Design Store!

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