Florilegium Study # 1, 2014
silk crepe de chine scarf with hand rolled hems
made in England
limited edition of 50
Kmossed Vs. McGlennon
approx.126 x 100 cm
Florilegium #1, 2014 is winner of the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize 2015.
Henri Matisse is by no means the only artist to have designed a scarf, however in June 2011, the fashion and art worlds were thrown into somewhat of a ferment by news that a scarf designed by Henri Matisse had fetched £3m (AUS$5.2 million) at Christie’s. Océanie, la Mer was 173.5 x 387.5cm of linen, dyed a particular golden colour to evoke the light of Tahiti, and printed with a dancing dreamscape of birds, seaweed, coral and sponges.
From the early to mid twentieth century Matisse, Dufy, Picasso, Derain, Calder, Moore and even the slightly harder edged modernist British abstract painter Ben Nicolson all designed scarfs. Many of our greatest artists believe then, as they do now, that beauty is to be found everywhere and indeed beauty is to be used and useful.
Within the spirit of the mid twentieth century, Joseph McGlennon draws his inspiration from deeper European history. A Latin term reconfigured in the Middle Ages; Florilegium (to gather flowers), had its early language roots in the gathering together of scholarly church writings, into the one tome. In the 16th & 17th centuries, Botanical Gardens emerged across Europe, privately hoarding exotic world flowers and animals, signalling the rise and rise of the illustrated colour plate book. The growing desire to chorale and record the worlds flora & fauna, alongside the growing confidence in science, all fused to produce a notion of the Florilegium as a luxurious record of the rare; of important beauties to be viewed in the one vista.
Photographed in Madagascar, Tahiti and Singapore, in Florilegium Study # 1 2014 McGlennon has captured each bird, flower, vine and butterfly to create a Florilegium that is a landscape, straight from the Age of Enlightenment. Within the work there is an enchanting clash of empirical scientific observation, coupled with a romantically lush, compassionate and diffused spotlight on the plants and birds wild observed- at a brilliant moment before they vanish into the fog of time. This lush landscape dwells in a most complex, beautiful and sadly unreachable world.
Digital printing technology enables detailed photographic images like these to be transposed onto silk to create wearable forms of artwork. A depth of colours and fine textures appear on exquisite silk – the nature of which is, in itself, luminous – the silk fibers reflect light, adding a subtle glow to the restrained palette of Joseph McGlennon’s majestic imagery.
Produced in collaboration with the extraordinarily talented team of Kmossed. These images of Florilegium #1 silk scarf photographed by Phoebe Grigor.
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