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Cambridge Studio Gallery

Power of the Flower by Jenny Reddin

Power of the Flower,

an exhibition by Jenny Reddin

Opening drinks: Wednesday 6 June, 6-8pm

Flowers are used to represent an emotional response to life events; death, birth, celebration, commiseration, joy.  They are a tangible representation of emotion; an expression of love, grief, shock, or empathy.  

Think back to the death of Princess Di and the outpouring of grief made visible by the sea of floral tributes that lined the streets outside Buckingham and Kensington Palaces.  That was an automatic and undeniable expression of the voice of the people.  The tributes were spontaneous and almost immediate.  There is no planning or strategy involved, they evolved and grew without planning permission or applications in triplicate. There are no rules or instructions about how to offer a tribute, they were and are a direct expression of the voice of humanity, the people, the world… with more emotional power than any other means of global communication.

During the First World War, red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium. In soldiers' folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground.  The poppy became a symbol of remembrance of the lives that were lost but also as a pointer to the resilience of human spirit.  

Closer to home in January 2017, a rogue driver killed innocent pedestrians in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall.  Jenny’s daughter had a close escape, and when they went back to lay flowers on the footpath outside the General Post Office Building, they were intensely moved.  There was an outward pouring of anger, grief, sympathy. It was a community expressing their devastation in a peaceful and powerful way.

Jenny was inspired to produce the Power of the Flower series by these converging events.

Young people wounded and dying, the embracing of triumph of spirit despite damage and carnage. This series is not about the flowers themselves but about the emotional impact of both giving and receiving: they are a direct expression of the voice of humanity, the people, the world.

There is an obvious floral theme to the works but when considered more deeply, there is a landscape where lives and events intersect.  The landscapes reference the physical landscape that is often pitted and marked, showing the impact of destruction and mayhem but they also show the landscape of emotion in the flow of paint across the surface, rising to a crescendo in parts and ebbing to a mere whisper in others.  

Colour red plays an important role in the works.  The red of the poppy is the key reference point for this group of works.  It is used to underline the vitality of life, the intensity of emotion, the depth of feeling and the blood spilt.  Softer colours are used in recognition of those more fragile and gently felt emotions but they still start out as red.

Jenny Reddin has exhibited yearly since 2005.


Event starts
Wednesday 6 June, 2018
Event Ends
Sunday 24 June, 2018
Cambridge Studio Gallery
Venue Address
52 Cambridge Street, Collingwood

Victoria, Melbourne

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