Paying homage to a dead poinsettia

My poinsettia died. My mother had the poinsettia, then gifted her (the poinsettia) to me. I repotted her and she immediately became this crazy, quirky bonsai version of a poinsettia with tiny delicate leaves and gnarled branches. She was beautiful and gentle, and seemed strong and quite unique. My mother didn’t recognise her when she visited.

My poinsettia started dropping leaves and we recorded the exquisite form of the leaves, and I started painting them. We then went to Japan and when we came home my poinsettia had died. She died even before my mother came (after a few days) to water her.

Dried poinsettia leaves

Dried poinsettia leaves

A number of the works in my exhibition at the Ensemble Theatre pay homage to my poinsettia. I hope I have captured her spirit and made her larger than life. In the work ‘Centrepiece’, her leaves are permanently encased and protected. In ‘Yule (flor de Noche Buena), her colour is intensely and lavishly displayed. The irony of the ‘Fall Remnant’ paintings exhibits her on a big textured white stage. In ‘Kawaii charm (lucky blossoms)’ she is apotheosised and integrated into an ‘amulet’.

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