By Sharon Webb
THE TINY flowers of Tasmania’s native plants painted by Deloraine artist Kylie Elkington took pride of place in an exhibition to launch Blooming Tasmania’s recent show.
Admirers of roses and rhodos, including Tasmania’s Governor, the Honourable Kate Warner, gazed into the greenness of Kylie’s depiction of Mountain Pinkberry and Carpet Frillyheath to discern shy jewel-like flowers secreted in foliage.
‘My work highlighted the native plant aspect of Blooming Tasmania. It was a treat to talk plants and gardens with Professor Warner,’ Kylie said.
‘My art is autobiographical, a record of where I’ve noticed ubiquitous but often overlooked tiny flowering plants. I aim to draw close attention to the light, detail and understated beauty of plants that may be witnessed by people hiking and moving through the Australian landscape.’
The exhibition, entitled The flower show – birth, death and everything in between, is open daily at the UTAS Academy Gallery at Inveresk until October 25.
Curated by Dr Malcolm Bywaters and Dr Kim Lehman, it also features work by Les Blakeborough, Angela Casey, Fiona Chipperfield, Susannah Coleman-Brown, Leoni Duff, Deborah Malor and others.
Prof. Warner, now appointed to another year in office, told the launch audience that she is working on the garden section of a book on Government House.
‘The Plimsoll Native Garden is a recent addition to Government House. Unfortunately Sir James died in office before it was completed,’ she said.
‘The Queen planted a Huon Pine there in 1988 and the Duke of Edinburgh a Blackwood tree.’
Kylie, whose 2019 Glover Exhibition entry was one of two winning highly commended awards, said Dr Lehman had chosen her work for Flowers having seen it in Hobart’s Colville Gallery.
‘Two of the three works I included in Flowers are new. I think they were a good fit,’ she said.