Petal Pushers
14 August – 3 October 1999

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

Imagine beautiful colour, delightful shapes and sweet aroma, and a flower garden comes to mind. This summer at Gairloch, the flowers are shifting and lilting in the breeze both outside and inside the gallery. Petal Pushers presents a critical sampling of the work of four Canadian artists who use flowers, flower petals and flower imagery in their work. Including work by David Merritt, Tomiyo Sasaki, Chrysanne Stathacos and Laura Vickerson, in this exhibition the much-maligned bloom emerges as a motif to be re-interpreted for a contemporary practice. By using the flower as a found object in installations that fill the Galleries' rooms, these artists explore notions of time and systems of knowledge. For example: the natural decay of organic material features processes of material change; the method of composing a whole with individual petals suggests the long labour of making; and the viewers' discovery of the work in stages through space indicates experiential time. Further common to all of the artists' work is the gesture of capturing, defining and fixing the natural element, either through pinning, encasing, or recording the natural cycle of blooming – a metaphor for deriving knowledge from nature. Through their work with established natural subject, these artists raise new questions and prompt renewed discussions about our relationship with the natural world.

An illustrated catalogue is published by Oakville Galleries.

Co-curated by Marnie Fleming and Su Ditta