These paintings reflect an on-going love of books and botanical illustration, and their use for Margaret Vorster as an arena to play , usually, historical references.
ABOUT THE WORKS:
'Futurist Manifesto' is of Boccioni with death and snowdrops. It’s a mixture of art fashion with botanical fashion. Throughout the history of plants, there have always been those plants which were considered passe and those which were considered fashionable – just like art movements. So the work is a celebration of this charming fashion-consciousness, and sometimes obsessiveness (viz. Tulipmania in Holland. Tulips come from Turkey.), as well as being a comment on it’s transience. They are contemporary Vanitas paintings so to speak. Vanitas painting is where the influence of Dutch Seventeenth Century painting comes into my work. As you probably remember, the skull in Vanitas painting is the symbol of the transience of life.
'The Poet' is of Marinetti with Narcissus Plenus which I have taken from a Christie’s catalogue of the Moller Florilegium which was painted in c. 1665. The term Florilegia – from the Latin “flos” (flower) and “legere” (to gather) – refers to books on flowers dedicated to ornamental rather than the medicinal or culinary plants of the herbals. The emergence of botanical illustration as a genre of art dates back to the 15th century when herbals were printed containing illustrations of plants and flowers. As printing techniques improved, and new plants came to Europe from Ottoman Turkey in the 16th century, wealthy people and botanic gardens commissioned artists to record the beauty of these exotic flowers in Florilegia. Modern florilegia are often photographic – the reference for the crocuses in the other small painting The Dancer, comes from one of these.
'The Dancer' is of a women who was part of Kiki’s outfit in Paris. The photo of the Italian Futurists from which I drew my reference appears in the book entitled Kiki’s Paris. The attachment I am sending, I have downloaded off the Internet. As I mentioned in the paragraph above, the crocuses are from a contemporary record of bulbs.