Posted 9th July 2018
This #ContemporaryArtMonday we share the voice of artist Amanda Ross, whose work will be on display in Watts Contemporary Gallery's next exhibition - Florabundance: Contemporary Flower Art - on display from Friday 13 July until Sunday 7 October.
Despite the natural vibrancy of her work, Amanda is an artist who describes herself as a 'plant-killer'. Consequently her art strives to evoke her ideal garden—one that does not need to be weeded or watered, but still conjures the ethereal essence of the British countryside.
After studying constructed textiles at Winchester School of Art and Central Saint Martins, Amanda has exhibited widely across the UK, including at the Chelsea Flower Show, the Chatsworth Flower Show, Hampton Court Flower Show and the RHS Wisley. She also has works housed in the V&A Collection.
Amanda's technique often remains faithful to her heritage in textile design, creating unique works on fabric, as well as paper, printed directly from horticultural cuttings. These plant cuttings comprise a personal herbarium; an archive of memories in nature, sourced during her travels across the UK and beyond.
For Amanda, it is simple to 'copy the plant's structure exactly but capturing the essence of gardens and places proves more elusive'. Her approach therefore evokes the organic growth of nature itself, embracing the unpredictability of trial and error, as well as her own instinct. She often exaggerates plant forms and applies coloured inks, crafting natural microcosms that draw upon both the scientific and the imaginary.
From enchanting summer strolls to dark, eerie woodlands, Amanda recalls the moments in nature in which her plant cuttings were collected—but with a fantastical twist. Jostling English sorrel leaves against Scottish cotton sedge, Amanda's work immerses the viewer in a magical, composite landscape that could not be found in reality.
See Amanda's work in our Watts Contemporary Exhibition, Florabundance: Contemporary Flower Art, on display from Friday 13 July until Sunday 7 October.