exhibited September 2015
My creative interests lie in the changing cycles of nature, the flow and ebb of human relationships and the awareness that intimacy is not a fixed state but changes even within constancy.
The simple metaphor of the rose has universal connotations: popularly romance, yet also as relationship ambivalence with the coexistence of flower and thorn. My personal symbolism relates to the experience of establishing and tending for a small rose garden. For a full year, from one Spring to the following, I photographed and sketched the various stages in the roses’ life cycles of growth, development and dying down, concentrating on the following seven stages: budding; opening bloom; full bloom; overblown; decay; pruning; and lying fallow.
In keeping with the concept of order emerging from chaos (and vice versa), each stage of the rose was accurately drawn in line – contour and texture – while the paper surrounding the drawing was filled with spontaneous mark-making, ranging, for example, from the soft lines flowing outwards from the opening bloom in pervading to the random slashing marks linked to the act of pruning in stripping.
Included in the imagery of the seven prints were core elements of seven readings from the humanist philosophy of I Ching, which parallel each depicted stage of the cycle of the rose garden: return/awaken; expand/harmony; exuberant/harvest; sacrifice/decrease; exhaustion/disheartened; stripping/cut away; waiting/preparation.
To recognise these states of being acknowledges their interrelated nature - that change is inevitable - that one stage follows from another regardless of our interference – that we have no choice but to live with consciousness, appreciating life’s joys and enduring life’s challenges.
The intimacy and focus invested in the process of gardening, the process of printmaking and engagement with the readings of the I Ching afforded me a meditative space for a year of introspection.
the following sources were used to research my topic and provide quotes in some of the artworks:
Beuster, J. 1991. The Jungian Construct Synchronicity, with special reference to
The I Ching. Pretoria.
Blok, F. 2000. The I Ching: Landscapes of the Soul. Amsterdam: Blozo Products.
Joubert, D. 1898. George Seferis: 10 Poems. Durban: Graphicos.
Karcher, S. 2002. Symbols of Love. London: Little, Brown and Company.
Karcher, S. 2003. Total I Ching. London: Time Warner Books.