New Work Studio, Wellington
28 March - 15 April 2000

These works are made up of multiple squares of board and like my two previous bodies of work, the Wallflowers are displayed in a large grid formation on the gallery wall. In this series I have used spray paint and a range of flower stencils that are derived from the stylised designs of lava lava prints.The spraypainted flowers are blurred, dripping and cropped in order to achieve an effect of both fragmentation and imperfection.

The title of this body of work, Wallflowers, like the previous titles  Mistints and Stigma Series relates to notions of the peripheral, the marginal, of things that do not quite fit in. Wallflowers are those decorative but neglected girls who sit out at the dance for lack of partners. In my work Wallflowers are those commercially mass-produced decorative art forms such as lava lavas that are accorded the status of low art, kitsch or cheap souvenirs and are consequently overlooked as a vibrant and valid art form.

Influenced by Andy Warhol’s mass-produced, serial silk-screened flower paintings of 1964, I am also exploring notions of the commercial, the readymade and the infinitely repeatable in my new work in relation to the screenprinted flower motifs that feature in lava lava design. Unlike the generic and repetitive decorative patterns of lava lavas however, the squares of sprayed flowers that make up the Wallflowers are deliberately flawed in order to imbue each element with fragility, as the seemingly empty decorative patterns are rendered imperfect and thus vulnerable like wallflowers at a dance.