Lilies are symbolically a more chaste flower whose use in art history is in reference to the Virgin and are most often seen in Annunciation paintings from the Early Renaissance on. I have been using images and forms that include the whole plant, flowers, leaves, stems, bulbs and roots. Most flowers are seen cut in a vase or growing above the ground, rarely is the whole plant seen.
In Greek mythology Iris was a messenger for the gods. In the embroidered panel the bulb or tuber of the iris looks as though it could run away. In Annunciation, the embroidered Lily shows one of the ways it propagates through sending out new shoots, a kind of virgin birth. Both panels are embroidered on large dark red fabric that is reminiscent of ecclesiastical damasks.
Lily, 2008. 51 x79 x 131 cm, antique table and bronze
Annunciation, 2007. 100 x 160 cm, embroidered cotton on fabric
Messenger, 2008. 100 x 160 cm, embroidered cotton on fabric. Collection: Dalhousie Art Gallery.
Photos: Morrow Scot- Brown