Immortelle with Blue Skeleton
2015. h:66cms x w:50cms (framed).
The flower remains unchanging while the blue skeleton dances. There is a plastic Red Admiral butterfly egg (from the Natural History Museum, London) within the flower. Above, the black butterflies writhe, mate and fight in a heavy black cloud of their own making. I found a bouquet of large and striking vintage bead flowers in a bric-a-brac market. I read that in the 1800s in some French funerals, glass bead flower wreaths or bouquets called ‘Immortelles’ were left on graves to preserve memories and the wires which supported the beads disintegrated over time. Then, when only a pile of beads remained, the beads were gathered together and re-worked to create new memorials. So, I have separated each Immortelle flower and drawn it with a dancing paper Hallowe'en skeleton (made by my son in primary school) and black antique millinery bead butterflies. I was intrigued by the possibility of echoing still life Vanitas or Memento Mori imagery in this context.
Artwork Group Image: