Signs of Spring
760 x 760
Mixed Media - Paint, dress patterns, graphite, charcoal, metallic foil
This artwork is inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’. Originally, Vincent wanted to combine two versions of his ‘Sunflower’ paintings with ‘Woman Rocking the Cradle’ as a triptych. The two Sunflowers were the ‘yellow panels’ that flank the central portrait - a comforting mother figure symbolizing gratitude. In this painting, I chose our beautifully yellow New Zealand Kowhai flowers to combine with stylized bowl or dish shapes (instead of the ceramic jar). There are repeated patterns referencing Kowhai leaves, seed pods, and spring flowers. Kowhai is particularly known for being a clear marker of the beginning of spring here. Tui, bellbirds, kākā, and kererū, in particular, rely on kōwhai nectar as a seasonal food source. A Maori legend says that a young man caused the tree to spring into flower to impress a young woman, and it is said that the Kowhai has flowered on bare and leafless branches ever since. This artwork represents new love and gratitude for the bounty of spring.