All Things Bright And Beautiful

By Fleur Chattillon

Flowers delicate, ethereal, global and even sometimes surreal are definitely nice to look at, but would you rather just look at them or experience them? Imagine walking through a beautiful field filled with wildflowers. Orange, yellow, purple and pink everywhere you go, alongside scents that mingle with air and grasses. Overwhelmed by colours our senses, tingle with the most wonderful sweet fragrances twinned with a hot sunny day. Nature at her best, can almost overwhelm it’s be you do many of our understandings, we think, what am I looking at exactly? What’s the story behind the flowers and what if the field wasn’t actually a field but a painting that you were looking at this entire time? Find out more about All Things Bright And Beautiful.

We are in the middle of Spring, the weather is getting warmer, and the colours around us are happier and bright. At this time of year, we may well want to be laying around in parks on a picnic blanket and enjoying majestic scenery. Daffodils, Narcissuses and crocuses in various hues colour the ground. An explosion, Mother Nature being beyond generous.

© Sarah Pannell, 2022

Glorious; maximum flowers, maximum beauty and maximum plants. Meet the new book SUPER BLOOM which is all about this utter joy. If you are a plant and garden lover, and when you just enjoy the beautiful things in life, this book brings you happiness and joy. A luscious book filled with simple amazing flowers.

© Thames & Hudson

One of those beautiful things might well be what is called A Super Bloom, a natural phenomenon in which climate and conditions align to allow plants to flower and to grow in such abundance that they transform the landscape, bathing it in colour. When A Super Bloom arises, it is a miraculous sight. It’s literally an explosion of flowers all around.

© Sarah Pannell, 2022

Leading plant specialist Jac Semmler revives good old-fashioned gorgeous flowers for the modern garden. His book guides you as a comprehensive gardening how-to for beginners as well as for experts.

The book is a reinvention of the flower and gardening encyclopaedia with at least 75 plant profiles of a variety of flowers and foliage to bring shape, allure and brightness to your garden.

© Sarah Pannell, 2022

Natural beauty nourishes something deep within us. Whether it’s seeing a field full of flowers, smelling a particular rose or watching a tulip’s head open to the sun. All of these examples make us happy and remind us that beauty is in the little things of nature that surround us.

© Sarah Pannell, 2022

But eventually, flowers are seasonal and unfortunately do not last forever. Lucky for us we can sort of immortalise flowers and colour in art and paintings.

Beatriz Milhazes, O Diamante 2002, Acrylic on canvas 250 x 381cm, “la Caixa” Foundation Contemporary Art Collection Photo Vicente de Mello. © Beatriz Milhazes Studio

An artist that immortalizes flowers and florals using loads of bright colours in her work is Beatriz Milhazes, an abstract painter born in Rio de Janeiro. She is widely recognized as one of the leading abstract artists working today.

She brings her work to the UK with a new solo institutional exhibition called, Beatriz Milhazes: ‘Maresias’, featuring twenty key paintings and five works on paper from 1989 to more recent works.

Beatriz Milhazes, A Flor da banana 1993–4, Acrylic on canvas 97 x 88 cm, Courtesy of Ivor Braka, Photo Stephen White. © Beatriz Milhazes Studio

Nature and flowers are the highlights, and most important themes of these works. This echoes is the exhibitions title ‘Maresias’, which refers to the salty ocean breeze that is part of Milhaze’s everyday life in the coastal city of Rio de Janeiro.

“My endearments are made of the breath and speed of the
forests, the flowers, the leaves. The power of the waves, the water, the oceans. The fascinating animal shapes. The movement of the Earth’s rotation, the Sun, the Moon, day, night, the sky, global connectivity.”

Beatriz Milhazes

She is known for her intensely colourful large-scale abstract canvases which present energetic and in this case are mostly decorated with blossoming flowers. There is an interesting tension between carefully planned construction and the appearance of spontaneity as if the flowers were planted and are now growing all over the canvas.

Beatriz Milhazes, Maresias 2002, Acrylic on canvas, 300 x 267 cm, TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, Photo Fausto Fleury. © Beatriz Milhazes Studio

When you look carefully at her work you can find tiny cracks and layers which show the memory of her painting process. Milhazes combines references to her deeply rooted Brazilian heritage with elements of Western abstract art. Her work also blossoms from the influence of other artists like Sonia Delaunay, Henri Matisse and Bridget Riley.

The Turner Contemporary, one of the UK’s leading art galleries, changes into a meadow of flowers filled with the works of Milhazes.

So if you would rather surround yourself with a Super Bloom or magnificent art, there is more than enough in full bloom around us.

Buy the book SUPER BLOOM here from Thames&Hudson

For more information about the exhibition Beatriz Milhazes: Maresias at the Turner Contemporary Gallery from 27 May – 10 September 2023 go here

If you enjoyed reading All Things Bright And Beautiful why not read India In Bloom?

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