Flowers: Passion. Pain. Nation.
Closed until further notice
Due to COVID-19, The David Roche Foundation, including Flowers: Passion. Pain. Nation., is closed until further notice. Thank you for your understanding, and we apologise for any inconvenience.
The symbolic role of flowers in Western art from the late Renaissance through to contemporary Australian art is both significant and diverse. The Dutch still-life tradition is perhaps best-known, with its association between flowers and the transience of life, but there is much more to discover. Flowers: Passion. Pain. Nation. draws together the big narratives of life – religion, marriage and death, as well as love and eroticism. Flowers are also part of Australia’s national narrative in art and a crucial source for Australian modernist women.
For David Roche, flowers were an endless joy in his garden and home. He collected porcelain, furniture and textiles adorned with flowers and many still-life paintings over his lifetime. David’s purchase of Theude Grönland’s Still life with flowers, 1846, was amongst his very last. These are now complimented by major paintings from public collections and illustrate the universal appeal of flowers across the centuries in Western art. Artists represented in Flowers: Passion. Pain. Nation. include Henri Fantin-Latour, Bartolomeo Passerotti, Francis Cotes, Tom Roberts, Hans Heysen, Margaret Preston, Adrian Feint, Arthur Boyd, Max Dupain, Anna Platten and Michael Zavros.
Image: Ah Xian (China/Australia born 1960), Jingdong Cloisonné Factory, China, Human human – cloisonné bust 3, 2001, Dachang County, Hebei Province, cloisonné enamel on copper, 45.0 x 42.5 x 25.5 cm, Gift of ETSA Utilities and the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 2006, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide © courtesy the artist, 20063S1