Flora Domestica – Jane Guthleben

These works explore the often-overlooked role that the Australian bush plays in our national identity. Through a profusion of nuts, blooms and extravagant floral arrangements Jane Guthleben brings the landscape in, emphasising its untamabilty, coarseness and defiance that are at odds with the order and comfort of home. Prickly foliage, bulbous pods and Australiana contrast with drapery and domesticity in unlikely combinations that are as familiar as they are strange. Flora Domestica references the Golden Age of Dutch still life painting through composition, lighting, vanitas and the passing of time, and frames the bush through antipodean eyes. It points to the enduring problem of being a stranger in our landscape that is adored at a distance and yet more mysterious and foreign the closer we get. Guthleben grew up on a Victorian sheep farm and now lives in Sydney, close to the bush.

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