Past Exhibitions

Exhibition 4

Motifs From Nature | 2014

featureOur founder, the late David Roche AM had a passionate interest in flora throughout his lifetime and here we celebrate this love by identifying motifs from nature used as ornament on items from his collection.

Whether cast in bronze, moulded from lead, carved from timber, inlaid, painted, enamelled or lacquered, or merely implied, there was often cause for comment: “What flower is that meant to be!?”

His gardener Adam Kromkamp worked closely with Mr Roche for many years improving the gardens at Fermoy House. Adam has endeavoured to identify flora of fact from flora of fantasy and fiction, on items exhibited.

Mr Roche spent many an idle moment observing man-made ornament from winged figures emerging from foliage, laurel wreaths in architectural conceits; or cornucopia being held aloft, spilling fruit and flowers. He admired the details in the costumes of porcelain figure groups, the foliage as decoration, be it gothic or neo-classic, be it elegant and even bold, be it minute in scale or in high-relief tendrils – flowers, and foliage are abundant and necessary for the decorative arts in the works that will be showcased in our next exhibition at the Viewing Gallery.

For centuries, horticulture has been one of the most consistent signs of a great civilisation and the most visually-absorbing expression of most cultures.

From fine furniture, to clocks, barometers, paintings, pottery and porcelain, glassware, silver, marvellous mirrors and more, he would hope that you would find a special piece to remember. Curated by Martyn Cook and Ann Preston Flint, with its colours, textures and love of beauty, this show will be sure to delight all visitors.

Past Exhibitions

Current Exhibition

Flowers: Passion. Pain. Nation.

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 a source of 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 and private 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, Tom Roberts, Hans Heysen, Margaret Preston, Adrian Feint, Arthur Boyd, Max Dupain, Anna Platten and Michael Zavros.

Learn More

Join Our Mailing List

If you would like to be kept informed of future exhibitions, events and lectures at The David Roche Foundation please join our mailing list.

The David Roche Foundation will only use personal information provided by you for the purposes for which it was collected.
We will ensure that your personal information is not disclosed to any other institutions or organisations.
© Copyright The David Roche Foundation 2022 Website designed, developed by