Talosian Singing Plant: Star Trek

The Talosian Singing Plant is a small plant native to Talos IV. When wind blows over the plant, it will emit a beautiful, wailing chime, soothing to the ear, that will stop as soon as the plant is still.

The plant is a large, blue leaf supported on a long stem. It can be found growing throughout the plains of Talos IV.

If Memory Serves

Pitcher Plant Inspired Sculptures

After visiting Kew Gardens and collecting some photographs, I have been working on sculptures inspired by the carnivorous plants I saw. They have elongated bodies and curving tops, which I think gives them a lot of character. They are hand stitched and stuffed with a soft fibre stuffing. I have used wire in the spines to give them some structure and control how I want them to sit.

Kew Gardens

Today I took a trip to visit Kew Gardens. It was my first time there, so was delighted to see the amount of variety they had. I wanted to collect some inspiration through photographs of a few more unusual plants to include in my paintings as well as expanding my knowledge on these plants. It was also helpful to see the layout of the gardens and and how the different plants were displayed for ideas for when it comes to arranging my soft sculptures with the painting. I will reflect on the photos when doing this to try maintain the relationship between the two pieces but without making it obvious.

Another nice surprise was that Kew currently have the glass sculptural works of Dale Chihuly exhibited throughout the gardens, amongst the plants. The sculpture shown in the two photographs below were probably my favourite out of all of them. I like the way it seems to seamlessly blend in with its surroundings, looking like it could be one of the spectacular plants as well. Although, when you look closer you can see how its arms are twisting and contorting, the effect given by the rippled surface of the glass, almost as if it’s growing and reaching out of the water.

Another aspect of the gardens I was looking forward to seeing was its carnivorous plant section- these plants have always fascinated me. The Nepenthes robcantleyi, (pictured below), has become a critically endangered species, originally from the Philippines. The pitchers , which are the main body of the plant, trap invertebrates, and depending on the size of the plant, also some small reptiles and mammals. These are then digested by acidic fluid in the plant to create nutrients for it to survive.   lrg_dsc00683


The photos below are just a selection of my favourite photos I took today. It was very interesting to learn about kew’s collection as well as about the plants that we commonly use but probably don’t really think about where it comes from or how it is grown, eg. black pepper, cocoa, rubber trees, and the many plants used for medicinal purposes.


Soft Sculptures

For the soft sculptures I have been experimenting with arrangements. My original plan was to just present them directly in front of the painting, though after making them I have realised that presented in the wrong way, they are going to look far to similar to scatter cushions! Which I am planning to avoid. Instead I am planning to create two ‘islands’ with various different sculptural forms in. To create the boundaries of where the art work ends I will be using fabric to cover the floor that I have painted to present the plant sculptures on. I don’t want them to look like a space that you could sit in, I want the objects to have more authority. To do this I want to move them away from the painting so they don’t look obviously connected, but instead have a subtle relationship within eye line of the viewer.

Helium? Making Sculptures Float


I have been experimenting with a helium balloon that I could make into a sculpture,  however have found that it doesn’t take much weight before sinking to the ground. I am wanting to cover it some way to make it appear like a plant or floating island. So far any fabrics are far too heavy but some of my light heat textile experiments with plastics seem to work. Tissue paper may also be light enough to maintain the balloon to float.

The downfall of helium though is that it is a non renewable gas. We are running out of this element as it is produced through nuclear decay of uranium and then mined. Surprisingly I learnt this information through my part time job at Mc Donald’s. They used to use helium balloons but as they are trying to do their bit for the environment, (my store anyway, I can’t speak for the whole company), so have switched to using oxygen. They have also switched from using plastic balloon sticks to cardboard ones, changed plastic straws to paper straws, and recycle all cups and plastics.  img_0509

The image below just a reference photo that I thought perhaps could be experiments for making the ballon string the stem of a plant.


Framing the picture


c445e760-e648-465a-8556-658043f2cff2-1After reconsideration, the painting was too unbalanced and I wanted the focus points in the painting to frame the picture more. I have lengthened the tree branches to give it more height and made the leaves curve around into the sky. I have also defined the plants in the foreground more, and added some more texture with a palette knife and rougher brushes. To further balance out the painting I wanted to calm the sky. Although I like the messy brush stroke look, I still want to make conscious decisions to make it controlled and intended. To do this I have blended the sky using the same colour palette and will later add in some clouds using a softer brush technique to achieve a more illustrative and dreamy appearance.