One painting, potting soil and Strelitzia reginae seeds
Installation view for the exhibition The Hisk Affair
140 x 205 cm
In the 18th century, the first exotic plants were imported into Europe, thanks to the invention of the Ward's box, which allowed them to be kept alive during transport, before being planted in the greenhouses of botanical gardens.
In 1761, on the occasion of the wedding of Sophie Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz to King George III of Great Britain, the director of the Kew botanical garden in London offered a bouquet of an exotic plant imported from South Africa, which he named "Strelitzia reginae", the epithet reginae meaning queen.
In 1982, the first Asian ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis) were imported into France by INRA, as an ecological control tool against aphids in agriculture, as well as for individuals.
Oil paint, oil pastel, charcoal and pencil on Vienna cotton, aluminium frame
140 x 205 cm
In the early 2000s, the trade in exotic plants for the European market developed, the Netherlands and Kenya became the largest producers and today it is no longer rare to find a Monstera or a cactus in our flats. Between the decorative object and the illusion of contact with nature, the interior, like a Ward's box, has become a jungle in miniature.
Also in the early 2000s, the marketing of Asian ladybirds was discontinued. It was noted that the latter were able to withstand the winter temperatures and that they were in danger of supplanting the European species. They feed on their larvae, whereas the Asian larvae are toxic for the European specimens.
Today, the Strelizia reginae is commonly known as the Bird of Paradise.
Installation view Interior/Exterior for the exhibition The Hisk Affair
Tree paintings, potting soil and Bird of Paradise seeds.
These three paintings represent exotic plants and Asian ladybirds. The plants are those accumulated during several years in the flat I occupied with my ex-girlfriend, the ladybirds entered the flat I occupied after our separation, unfortunately they died there. The bird of paradise seeds were given to me by my ex-girlfriend shortly before we separated.
Untitled (Harmonia axyridis)
Oil painting on Vienna coton, wood frame
25 x 25 cm
Bird of Paradise seeds (Strelitzia reginae)