Move: Botanical Fascination

By Jo Phillips

Amelia Bauer and Elizabeth Parks Kibbey
For a Woman to Attract a Man She Desires, 2013. apple blossoms, geranium, jasmine, rose, rosemary, vanilla pods, vervain. Archival Pigment Print, 28″ x 42″. edition of 12 + 2 AP

Do flowers have the power to move mountains and shake the world? Well… Perhaps not so literally. But they certainly do have a spellbinding effect – whether it is the power to make us fall head over heels in love or move us to tears of joy. Artist Amelia Bauer and floral sculptor Elizabeth Parks Kibbey have created the Book of Shadows series composed of the ingredients in various botanical spells in their most floral state. As oppose to an ominous outlook often associated to pagan spells and witchcraft, the ten still life images from the series present a pleasing femininity that charms and enthrals the viewers.

Amelia Bauer and Elizabeth Parks Kibbey
For a Man to Attract a Woman He Desires, 2013. bay berry, bay leaves, black snakeroot, cinnamon, geranium, ginger, rose, vervain. Archival Pigment Print, 32″ x 32″. edition of 12 + 2 AP

The duo explained, ‘creating the series Book of Shadows gave us the opportunity to explore the intersections of our individual interests and formal skills, deepen our conceptual grounding through dialog, and ultimately produce work that neither of us could have accomplished on our own.’

Spells explored in the series include ‘To Increase Fertility’, ‘For a Woman to Attract a Man She Desires’, ‘For a Man to Attract a Woman He Desires’, ‘For Protection from Evil’, ‘To Draw Money’, ‘For Safety in Travel’, etc.

De Soto Gallery
Book of Shadows at De Soto Gallery. Images courtesy of Amelia Bauer.

For New York and L.A. residents, there is no need to move the heaven and earth to see the series and meet the artists in person now. The Book of Shadows exhibition opens on 7 March 2014 till 13 April 2014 at De Soto Gallery, 1350 Abbott Kinney Blvd in Los Angeles; and a piece from the series will also be on display now till 13th April 2014 at The Last Brucennial, 837 Washington St, New York. Amelia and Elizabeth will be present at the opening of the De Soto Gallery exhibition on Friday, 7 March 2014 from 6 – 8PM.


Amelia Bauer and Elizabeth Parks Kibbey have contributed to The Cornucopia Issue guest-edited by New York based Dutch artist Sebastiaan Bremer.

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