Bouquets to Art 2015

Last year I took the children to the de Young Museum’s Bouquets to Art exhibition, a display of floral art inspired by the museum’s paintings and sculptures. It was so good that we were excited about going again this year. Unbelievably, this year’s exhibition was even better.

The most important thing about the Bouquets to Art exhibition is that the detail in the floral displays forced my Philistine, unobservant eyes to notice the detail in the paintings themselves. In the photo below, if we hadn’t wondered why there was a single yellow flower rising from the green of the floral display, we wouldn’t have noticed the way the sun was painted on the (higher) canvas. And there are two red sprigs in the floral base (that don’t show in the photo), which possibly represented the two small figures in a boat in the painting (also too tiny to show in the photo). We wouldn’t have seen the boat if it hadn’t been for the sprigs. It wasn’t the most beautiful floral display, and it wasn’t the most interesting painting, but the existence of the flowers helped us to appreciate the art itself. Whoever thought up the idea of the Bouquets to Art exhibition was a genius.

The floral display is an interpretation of the higher canvas

The floral display is an interpretation of the higher canvas

Gabriella pointed out that some of the floral presentations were replicas of the paintings themselves…

IMG_1092 snowy scene

The snow was made from plastic and sugar

IMG_1065 blue vase twigs

We liked the floral representation of this painting last year too

We liked the floral representation of this painting last year too

… while others were interpretations of them.

These two displays captured the forms and colours of the painted women they represented

These two displays captured the forms and colours of the painted women they represented

IMG_1103 long black hairIMG_1039 icy scene

Abstract art interpreted florally

Abstract art interpreted florally

IMG_1229 abstractIMG_1239 spinning wheelIMG_1298 black and blueIMG_1122 stark landscape

This one was an interpretation of the abstract sculpture behind it

This one was an interpretation of the abstract sculpture behind it

Some of the exhibits were exquisite…

The whole violin was made from leaves

The whole violin was made from leaves

The painting behind the peacock depicts the Flora and Fauna of the Pacific

The painting behind the peacock depicts the Flora and Fauna of the Pacific

… and others were fiendishly clever.

This display looked as if it was a mirror, like the that inspired it. But closer inspection showed that the flowers framed clear glass, and a matching sprig of orchids stood behind the glass as if it was a reflection.

This display looked as if it was a mirror, like the one that inspired it. But closer inspection showed that the flowers framed clear glass, and a matching sprig of orchids stood behind the glass as if it were a reflection.

The painting of Venus is jagged, but the floral display is sinuous

The painting of Venus is jagged, but the floral display is sinuous

My unchallenged favourite of the day was the display inspired by a sculpture called Man Observing…

The huge sculpture of Man Observing, with an odd spherical bouquet opposite

The huge sculpture of Man Observing, with an odd spherical bouquet opposite

Closer analysis showed that the odd bouquet opposite Man Observing was an eyeball observing back…

I'm watching you

I’m watching you

… creating a clever stand-off.

Staring contest

Staring contest

If you’d like to see all the photos from the exhibition, click here.

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About Natalie Gotts

I've been a management consultant, a nutritional therapist, a Journey practitioner and a mother. I've sold ostriches in China and personal safety devices in Hong Kong. Whatever I've done, and wherever I've been, I've written about it.
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