FLOWERS OF LIFE
the vagina as the muse
13 original artworks
oil painting, watercolor, origami, digital art, vellum collage, porcelain sculpture, ink, photography, embroidery and sand painting.
The ‘Flower of Life’ message evokes the idea of empowerment, connection and a proudness to be a woman. This project is such a positive and spiritual way to celebrate the feminine and relationship we share with all of our bodies. It is such a privilege to be alongside other like minded artists from all over the world. This is a celebration of the idea of togetherness through our different mediums of art and encourages to break down the history of taboo.
Alice Walton (born 1987) is a British ceramic artist whose intriguing labyrinthine forms have attracted international acclaim. With a forensic eye, Walton translates the seemingly familiar into highly complex and multi-layered porcelain objects. Despite featuring intensely textured surfaces and complex colors, Walton’s work is also recognized for its meditative qualities. It is this tension between the repetitive and experimental, the calm and the kinetic that make her objects so compelling. Her desire to stave off our digital riddled and splintered multi-realities is remedied through a process of intensely tactile moulding technique. Deliberately contemplative, her work creates a time capsule of discovery for the viewer with its intricately detailed markings drawing them in.
Marisa Papen & Michael Chichi
With this work, I aim to restore our interpretation of the vagina by showing her in the light of high-fidelity and elegance. I wanted to show myself in full detail without any obscurity.
By showing myself entirely with ‘Flower of Life’, I touch upon our fascination for mystery and our soft spot for beauty. I undressed culture itself from its thick layers of propaganda so we can once again see our naked/natural truth. Look at this vagina, exposed in all its glory. Look at all its simultaneous complexity and simplicity.
The vagina, the Flower of Life, is a wonder of nature, a sacred symbol of creation. Universally shared, yet always uniquely expressed through a complex variety of form, pattern and palette.
Flower of Life for me is the symbolic door to a new world, the rebirth of human existence through suffer and sacrifice.
Art needs to be part of the renewal of life and humans. It’s an effort that can’t be done alone and needs to involve all the artistic power that is left on earth. Art is a ritual that needs to be done together. I applaud this initiative and Marisa’s creativity and courage. While creating my contribution for ‘Flowers of Life”, I imagined that the cape will be on Marisa’s shoulders when she is elected the new ‘Pope’.
Director Jacq is an Intergalactic creator known for his mysterious hand-embroidered paintings, capes, and tribal-like objects. Operating from an unknown location in space, he seems to send artistic messages to the earthlings. Only operating online, nobody has ever met the artist to a point that his existence had been put into question. Is he an outsider artist, a madman or just a character directed by another artist who is pulling the strings? Whatever it might be, his embroidered pieces bear witness of a personal universe created with a high level of craftsmanship and sense for geometrical harmony. His works read like religious manuscripts of a lost or never discovered tribal society.
I chose to participate in this important project because it is time to move beyond the limiting beliefs surrounding the feminine. Over the years, I have connected to the ‘Flower of Life’ symbolism in various ways including creating a large-scale map installation, composed of sacred geometry using the Vesica Piscis - the intersection of two circles refers to the pairing of two worlds; the sacred and earthly.
For this project, I created four ‘Flower of Life’ interpretations using layers of hand-cut and stippled vellum. These works evolved out of my Simpling Series.
These explorations refer to seeds, flowers and fruit; and have an emotional undertone and an indication of sexuality. They capture the essence of fertilization and reproduction; and celebrate the wonders of nature and the female body. The sacred symbolism of the ‘Flower of Life’ in all forms represents pure potential, rebirth, growth and emergence.
Shannon Rankin is a New Mexico-based visual artist who uses the language of maps to explore the complexities and interconnections between the inner and outer worlds, between that which is known and that which remains beyond the field of knowledge, that mythical place on medieval maps where the dragons lie and cherubs blow the wind.
When I saw the Flower of Life image, I felt warmth, admiration, and inspiration because it was such a beautifully realistic depiction of that body part. I remember I was with a friend when I received the project’s briefing. When I showed her the picture, she gasped and said to me, “I never saw mine like this.” That resonated with me. Through my painting and performance practice, I aim to create a stasis between the two polar states of denial and embrace, so I decided to embark on this collective effort to embrace and celebrate the Flower of Life.
Filidonos Tatianna is a painter and video artist whose work explores notions and constructions of sexuality. Originally from Athens, Greece, Tatianna moveto Montreal to pursue her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University. She now works and maintains a studio practice in the city. She was the recipient of the 2019 Helene Couture Painting Award and her works have been exhibited in several group shows, including at Art Mur and Galerie Luz.
There is no end to the bright starry sky. A beautiful flower bloomed in the sky, its petals bright and full, which is the most vigorous vitality in the universe. The heart of the flower is so deep that it becomes a Milky Way running into the sea, which breeds and nourishes all life. This flower is holy and incomparable, blooming forever. Her name is The Source of Life
Wang Ge “Pearl” was born in 1969 in Langfang, a small city near Beijing China. Her father Wang Zai, was a published artist and a well-known loca calligrapher. Influenced by her father at an early age, Wang Ge learned to draw and to appreciate the traditional Chinese culture. In 2007, Wang Ge was introduced to an ancient “Cloisonne” style of painting. With vision an innovation, she quickly mastered the art and then created her own patent using sand based paint. Her subject matter consists of traditional Chinese scenes with native flowers,fish and birds. However, since moving to Hawaii in August of 2017 to live with her husband, Ed Torrison, she has also embraced the unique and colorful flora, fauna and marine life of Hawaii. With so much beauty around, she has a wealth of inspiration.
Marisa Papen &
I believe it is the absence in understanding and acceptance of our bodies that inhibits us to experience the world, within and around, as a spontaneous symphony. Sharing my Flower of Life is to inspire a way of seeing that will once again bring us closer to the natural world that we are. Because to see ourselves in nature’s reflection is to embrace our beautiful complexity - and with the grace of embracing, we can accept.
A paradox of our age is that the natural has become seemingly unnatural. We want to cover that which is born naked and pure in the world. This covering, this hiding, corrupts the natural, makes it feel un-pure, and robs us of our humanity. My desire with our work is to re-naturalize and re-sanctify nudity and the body. To see us in the flower, and the flower in us.
When I saw Flower of Life, I was evoked by her truth. And that’s why I decided to be a part of this collective effort. But also because I love Marisa and Michael and everything they stand for in life - spreading universal messages of truth.
When I red Marisa’s poem it all became very clear what I wanted to draw, even though I painted 30 different ideas in my exploration of what the vagina represents, I ended up arriving again at the first vision that filled my mind. The vagina as the portal to life.
Philippe Stella (b.1981) is an actor, author and artist. Philippe neve prepares his works in advance: they are created quickly and spontaneously as if from a gut feeling, with a continuous urge to explain in text and drawing what he cannot express in person.
His work is reminiscent of the painters and the poets of the Cobra-movement who expressed themselves in the same spontaneous manner, or of Jean Dubuffe who honored the same spontaneity, from which “l’art brut” arose. During his youth he spent a great deal of time in Cadaques at the Spanis coast, where he not only explored the works of Dali and Picasso, but also developed great admiration for these masters.
If Picasso ever announced that art has no meaning and that painting is the only thing a painter has to do in order for the artwork to overwhelm him, the his beautiful words “je ne cherche pas, je trouve”, are perhaps also to be found in Philippe Stella’s.
When I started the process of creating this piece called Flower of Life, I was thinking of the origin of life on earth, where we all come from, and how the existence of life on earth was born. I decided to be a part of this collective effort because it offered me the opportunity to come together with all these talented artists around the world working on the same theme. I’m so very happy to be part of the project even though it was a difficult task to complete this painting. It was a strange situation and it was my first time to feel this way. It took me what felt like forever to finish but when I started connecting the lines together - I felt strong again - as I sensed the urge to create a feeling of unity. I want to thank Marisa and Michael for the lessons they offered, I learned a lot.
Walters Angu Che was born in 1980, a native of the Mezam District in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. The artist’s studio is in the NW city of Bamenda which has since 2017 found itself at the very center of a brutal civil war. There are not a lot of places more perfectly remote where a gifted artist seeking to emerge from obscurity faces greater obstacles. Angu’s works express surrealism because he believes that his dreams are inspirational to his life and works. He often titles his favorite paintings,“The Happy Family”, because to him the family is the foundation on which a successful professional and matrimonial life is built. Many paintings express his special reverence for mothers. His works are exhibited in galleries world-wide and in Africa at the Cameroon National Museum in Yaoundé.
To me, ‘Flower of Life’ is the raw essence of humanity and how innately connected we are with nature. The flower of life embodies the universal language of creation and coming into life. I took part in this collective expression towards dissolving the current misconceptions faced upon the human body so we can shift our perception towards unity and connection.
Intuitively, my piece formed in a very organic manner. Originating from a central focal point and blooming out in luscious folds both asymmetric and symmetric - mimicking growth from the natural world. Floods of emotive hues ascend upwards and transcend beyond, representing the infinite potential that lies in the seed of all.
Blurring the line between physical and digital practice, Chirnside explores the intersection between art & design. His artwork has been described as “A mixing of natural elements with cosmic & spiritual phenomena that aims to delve beyond the edges of consciousness, exploring areas of order & incomprehension.” Through the use of mixed media techniques, his artwork is an exploration of the fields that exist beyond the minds eye.
The work I dedicated to the Flowers of Life Project is based on my painting “The Citizens of Sodom Dance Around the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”. I think the closest I ever got to Paradise was while I was in the womb: a place without fear, pain and greed. I left this peaceful and innocent place through the gate of the vagina to enter a world which is far more reminiscent of hell than paradise. Still I hope to return to Paradise by crossing this gate again from the other side.
Michael Hutter, born on December 26. 1963 in Dormagen, is a German painter, graphic artist and writer.From 1983 to 1986 he studied free painting in the class of Prof. Karl Marx at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences. Since then lively exhibition activity in Germany and abroad and as Kunstkrake at (www.kunstkrake. de). In his abysmal, detailed works, he focuses on eroticism and religion and the cosmic horror. In the year 2012, his self-illustrated story cycle MELCHIOR GRÜN; FUENF MORITATEN was published by Luftschiff Verlag. His second story cycle, THE KRANZEDAN TALES, was published 2021 by Centipede Press.
I was trying to build this fundamental yet sensual landscape that holds life. It is inspired by the relation between rocks and moss, pure elements and softness. There is a little stream of water, the depth of forest green and the mystic cool shadows. I chose to not take a full frontal perspective of the vagina since I wanted to give the painting the feeling of a view, a view that is gently approached. It is a lively view, yet it seems like it has been calm and resting there forever. Also it is from its shadows, where the branches of life emerge; the green paths over the hills and rocks. Like the landscape, to come closer means to see more and see anew, this painting reveals enough to emerge with it and little enough to want to come closer.
Loutje Hoekstra (1994) is an Amsterdam based autodidact artist. Her style was born during her studies in biology where she used to make quick sketches of her fellow students and the animals and plants that were subjected to her eye. This practice developed into a method to get a hold of the emotional living core of things and has ever since been extending from the embodiment of explicit portraits to gestures and deeper feelings.
Marisa Papen is an inspiring and fearless artist and so I was excited when I was approached to join the project. Wet-folded paper as a medium was perfect for the Flowers of Life project. The curves that are generated are voluptuous, voluminous, offering up all the diverse and beautiful possibilities within which one becomes mesmerized in celebration of this natural life giving form. The process of working on the piece was a meditation on the wonder of the vulva, the yoni, the labia, those lips of joy. As the artist, my main role is to appreciate and then accentuate accidental curves and fix this soft form in space. During my research, I was intrigued by the broad diversity of vulvas. Only when I relaxed and stopped trying to be too literal was the form able to be gently coaxed into being.
Daughter of artists, Polly Verity grew up in an environment where there were plenty of art materials on hand to experiment with. Her step-grandfather,Eric de Mare wrote a book “Your Book of Paperfolding”. Although origami has been practiced for hundreds of years, a pure abstract tessellated form is relatively recent, the Bauhaus first experimenting in 1920’s. Polly’s paper folding designs follow in this vein, creating low relief repeat geometric 3D patterns. More recently, Polly has been wet-folding watercolour paper to create portraits. Although you wouldn’t know, the years of study in the geometric transformation of paper informs these softer sculptural works.There is an infinite variety of forms that can arise from this method and Polly chooses folds that are particularly photogenic and striking. The texture of the paper gives a feeling of the surface of stone and the simplicity of line, the feeling of discovering a timeless sculpture from antiquity.