Frangipani Fest

FRANGIPANI FEST PORTFOLIO

The impetus for my Frangipani paintings came after a visit to Hawaii a few years ago.

They were everywhere, flowering profusely and extravagantly and joyfully, in every colour and shape imaginable. The clear blue skies through and behind the blooms threw their freshness and purity into sharp focus.

In this series of postcard-sized sketches my aim was to try to distil that experience into a simple statement that reflects the flowers’ openness, freshness and purity. Working on such a small scale drew me towards more abstract interpretations exploring the negative spaces between the flowers’ elements that helped to clearly define their identity.

Frangipani as a Symbol

In The Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs the frangipani is associated with the Feminine and iruled by Venus.

Its element is water and its deity is Buddha.

Its power is love and its magical uses are in love spells. It is also associated with Love in the Feng Shui.

In Hindu culture the flower signifies Loyalty and is worn by brides in their hair as a symbol of their loyalty to their husband. In India it is also regarded as symbolising immortality because it will produce flowers and leaves even when it has been lifted out of the soil. It is often planted near temples and graveyards so its flowers can drop on the tombs.

In Polynesian cultures a woman wears the flower to indicate their relationship status – over the right ear means that she is seeking a relationship; over the left ear means that she is in one.

Frangipani is very rare in China, and even more precious than the orchid. So, when a person gives frangipani flowers to a sweetheart, it is the closest thing to saying ‘you’re special, I love you’ in a culture where expression of personal feelings is frowned upon.

Making work in such a small format posed me with quite a challenge. You can read more about that in my Blog here:

http://blogs.angloinfo.com/an-artists-notebook/2014/05/02/wish-you-were-here/

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