In Defense of Flowers.

My senior Capstone exhibit, the work I have been researching and executing over the course of the year, is up!

They say things like "paint what you know," "just put in the hours and do the work," "make art about what you feel strongly about," and so on. Well, such advice proved difficult to follow for someone who is constantly fascinated by new things all the time, who knows an average amount about a lot of things but isn't an expert on anything really, and whose strong feelings are better left in personal conversations or on the pages of my leather-bound journal tucked in a cubbie of my coffee table.

Only a few weeks before Christmas break I checked out a book from the library called How to Know the Wildflowers. I thumbed through the pages, bookmarking pages containing melodious excerpts from Frost or Emerson, and botanical illustrations whose lines or composition appealed to me. On rectangles of mat board left over from cutting mounts for a photography final I began to sketch the shapes of specimens I found especially alluring - whose lines, planes, patterns, all seamlessly work together to comprise something wonderful. In lieu of black line drawings, color - vibrant and bold.

It took me another month or so of paintings to realize what I was doing: painting what I know, doing the work, and making art about something I feel strongly about. And somehow, these things have culminated in a body of work that revolves around flowers. Flowers. I still get tickled over the fact that I ended up making paintings inspired by the most painted subject know to man for my senior exhibition, but I also don't plan to stop any time soon...

Blackbridge Hall Gallery
Milledgeville, Georgia 31061

In Defense of Flowers
Statement by Lucy Reiser Williams
            In my work I explore the pertinence of flowers across multiple facets of day-to-day life, and the often-overlooked role certain visual elements of botanical specimens play in the development of modern designs hastily deemed synthetic or manufactured.  
The practice of botanical illustration suggests a very human compulsion to attach terms and explanations to objects existing outside of our control. Flowers are used as tools for our own self-expression, taken out of a context and relocated to vases on a coffee table and pots on out front porches for the purpose of decorating a space. In essence, flowers are a medium of their own.
Since the onset of botanical illustration (traced back to the year 512), the way we have documented and shared the natural world has evolved. Photos of perfectly curated floral arrangements are constantly posted to the Internet where the specimen becomes seamlessly assimilated into a further detached, entirely non-physical world. The idea that something so notoriously delicate can withstand millennia of ecological, cultural, and societal transformation while maintaining unwavering relevance is noteworthy, to say the least. Through processes of isolating elements of design within the form, stylizing, and abstracting, I explore the notion that visual components of botanical specimens play an integral role in the development of manmade modern designs. 
When flowers, though commonplace and arguably cliché, are more thoughtfully examined, they reveal foundational truths of the human condition and help make sense of the aesthetic world around us.