detail of "Blossom", 2020
silk organza, petal powder, latex, seeds
Poppies are associated with dream states, sleep, passion, death and remembrance. The fragile flower grows quickly over tilled fields in the spring, hence its association with Demeter, the Greek goddess of fertility but also, with war; they are the first blooms to decorate killing fields. Thus, in English-speaking countries, red poppies hae been worn to honor veterans, since WWI. In France the blue cornflower serves this purpose. In China poppies evoke colonialism and the Opium wars. The narcotic properties of poppies have been known since ancient times. In Persian poetry they are symbols of passion. In California, poppies are not red, but golden.
Bringing golden, orange and crimson together, I bring the poppy fields of my life in Europe, African and North America together,. I explore edges and overlaps of life and death, ecstasy and addiction. I work with seeds and latex, paint, cloth, and the dust of poppy petals I study how diverse materials alters my psyche and gestures. Marking canvas or dusting silk organza, I recall the springy sensation of a joyfully walking across a poppy field near Marrakesh or sprawling in an endless field of California gold. As I paint, my gestures are inspired by the history of dreams and destruction sown by this evanescent dream-flower, whose memory petals can become a talismans for the passions and processes of life.