Loves of the Plants
The "Loves of Plants" series of paintings and prints is a continued investigation into the sexuality in language as well as the placement of gender upon non-human forms. The text used in the work is drawn from the 1789 publication The Loves of the Plants by Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles Darwin) in which the reproductive habits of hundreds of species of plant life are described in terms normally associated with human sexuality (i.e.: the marital bed, nuptial vows, husbands and wives, etc.). Despite its rather unscientific format, (Darwin wrote the entire compendium in poetic rhyming verse rather than prose) the publication was used as an important reference for 18th century botanists. Combining this text with other innocent representations of the plant world, i.e.: silhouettes of flowers, scientific illustrations of plant forms and floral patterns by the father of 20th century English textile design, William Morris, a seductive world of human sexuality and gender play is suggested.