Michelle Henry

“Be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees” (from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran), 2020

Oil on canvas. 97x46cm
Finalist and Packing Room Prize: Greenway Art Prize 2020
“This painting combines images of wattle and grevilleas I photographed around Hawthorn Canal with a view of the bridge at the Iron Cove end. My artistic practice explores the flower as a metaphor. It has been said that the grevillea can symbolise the opening up of possibilities and new directions (as expressed in the unfurling of its flowers), while the wattle is a sign of unity in Australia. Bees represent community and the wise use (rather than the exploitation) of nature. Thus, my painting is about bringing together the community through the wise use of greenspaces and therefore opening the possibilities for stronger community connections and personal fulfilment through accessible natural environments. The title of the painting comes from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran, and follows the line “And to both, the bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.”