Work: Flourish III
Construction: Sandcast Bronze
Size: H.3300mm X 380mm X 380mm
Richard Mathieson’s Flourish III depicts intricately detailed plant forms continuously spiralling into growth, evoking themes of botanical study, scientific research and accompanying issues of intervention in nature.
Working with the contours of the botanical, Mathieson’s pieces are often intertwined with their site, acting as stages in the growth of a plant and mirroring surrounding species and their evolution within the bush landscape. Mathieson has spoken of the importance of letting his works integrate - or if you like, germinate - in the land they reside: “The chance to leave the work on site for up to two years is also a huge attraction...that allows it to settle into the landscape”, (1) as you would let a plant take root in the earth.
Where his earlier work Propagation (2006) evoked a sense of the beginning, the idea of introducing species and watching them begin to grow, Flourish III suggests the product of this, a continuation of Mathieson’s enduring artistic practice and his investment in the botanical in art. In its isolation on the hill, a single, towering structure that holds a certain rhythm in each individually cast bronze leaf, Mathieson forges a link between his artworks, presenting them as lonesome ‘introduced species’ in what is otherwise incredibly dense native bush. Mathieson asks us to consider the effects of such intervention in nature and the ethics of disrupting our natural order, the tension between the exotic and the native bush which we revere.