Flowers play a leading role in moments of heightened emotions – births, marriages, deaths- and serve to help us express the depth of our emotions, when words may seem too distancing. The arc of their lifespan of bud, to bloom, to decay, echoes our own, and provides a rich metaphor for a human life.
Like a piece of music, they concisely encapsulate a range of semiotic meanings, and are received on a visceral level involving our senses.
Perhaps it is that visual and aural sensory engagement that gives an extra boost to the impact of the presence of flowers, along with the loaded symbolism garnered from centuries of association.
Textile / Fibre Art has had a long association with flowers, developing as it has from skills generally relegated to ‘womens work” and thus subjects deemed suitable for women to portray. The presence of a high number of textile and fibre artists in the Blue Mountains made it a simple decision to be the medium of choice.
In our contemporary world, the value of empathy, understanding and hope that the presence of flowers articulates can be overshadowed by more practical and concrete matters.
I would hope that the Flora Sensa exhibition could re-focus attention on the small yet meaningful moments in our lives when the presence of flowers spoke to us of an experience of deep emotion, and that this experience is one we share with many others.