Fleurs du Mal is an installation of artworks that repositions some of art history's most famous paintings and spotlights unseen feminine labor via the genre of flower painting. Historically, the still-life genre provided an entrée for women into the profession of art during the Dutch Golden Age. The exhibition is titled after Baudelaire's famous book of poems, which included censored poems about women who transgressed social norms. 

My Fleurs du Mal works are a pun on flower painting. Rather than create a representation or abstraction of a flower, the flowers in these works have been painted in the way a house painter paints a house. Most of the flowers were grown in my garden and some flowers and weeds were picked from roadside meadows. They are carefully dried, and layers of paint are applied by different means depending on the type. They are then attached or embedded with paint and painting mediums onto up-cycled vintage floral tablecloths.

The tablecloths are stretched as canvases and serve as springboards for the compositions, many of which are riffs on some of art history's greatest hits: Van Gogh's Starry Night, Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, Bottecelli's Primaveraartists and works familiar to the lay person, Sunday painter and art professional alike. The tablecloths reference ready-mades in art but also the domestic labor of women, which historically resided outside the production of capital but certainly aided and supported it. 

Both the word "table" and "tableau" hail from the same origin: Old French table/tabel (slab, writing table/tablet, plank) and Latin tabula (board, painted panel, picture, writing table, list).

Combining the conventions of the table (tablecloths) with tableau (painting) allows me to merge the domestic with high art to place both on the same plane/playing field. It provides an opportunity to play with the idea of perspective, and layer different types of perspective. For example, the tablecloths viewed as canvases create an unconventional perpendicular point of view looking straight down from above (rather than the kind of aerial perspective Leonardo Da Vinci was interested in). It also allows me to combine decorative and fine arts (floral/flower painting). 

The Fleur du Mal works also explore how our relationship to our natural environment is influenced by the cultural personification of nature as feminine. The nymph Chloris is an example of this, as her abduction, rape and marriage transform her into the Goddess Flora (goddess of spring and bearer of life) in Bottecelli's famous Primavera

Many paintings in this series are re-creations of an original painting. In some cases I have reinterpreted a landscape painting in the form of a still life or a still life as a sculpture. Still life (Nature Morte) is also home to both Vanitas and Momento Mori themes. As a whole, the works are fluidspanning painting, textiles, sculpture, installationusing humor, improvisation and formal means to transform transmuted still-lives into a kind of contemporary history painting. 

Fleurs du Mal nibbles from within the traditions of the floral and flower painting, and at the edges of cultural archetypes; it reimagines a history of lost opportunities for women, giving voice to feminine cultural production.