Current BFA Honours student Kerryn Hickson has been selected as a finalist in The Upstairs Gallery Emerging Artist Award 2021.
Fragile beauty, deadly and mysterious. A poison and or a remedy, a cure or a toxin.
Our world today seems to be disconnected from knowledge of nature with what the average person does and does not know. Plants and flowers are seen everywhere we go, they are a huge part of life but we don’t realise what is out there regarding the types of specimens. How they can have a healing touch but if you overdo it can end up with disastrous results. Like humans, plants have been adapting gradually for millions of years, through these years they have developed different ways of protecting themselves, defence mechanisms. “From thorns and spines to deadly chemicals”¹.
Flowers are a powerful structure of nature yet they look so delicate at the same time, they are a pharmakon. Pharmakon is defined as being both a remedy and a poison. To people plants are an aesthetic interest because they look beautiful and fragile but looks can be deceiving. Not all plants are as delicate as they look, they can have a dark side to them in terms of their chemicals, because their defences can often be harmful.Exquisite uncertainties is a series of plants focusing on specific species. Narcissus Jonquil (Jonquil), Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade), Anemone tomentosa (Windflower), Amaranthus Catusus (Love-lies-bleeding). These plants are commonly seen in our gardens looking beautiful and often have remedial functions. Though most of these look innocent, they can be toxic and in some cases fatal. This is where we should be more educated and aware of the dangers lurking in our backyards. “Beware the plants that poison, beware the words that harm, beware the artwork that forces us to face uncomfortable truths”².
By increasing my interest and knowledge I have come to realise that we are looking at an exquisite danger.
The Upstairs Gallery
¹ Sgarbura, Denis. 21 beautiful but deadly flowers, 2021
² Gibson, The pharmacy of plants: Botanical Apothecary. 109
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