Download Burnash_Wisteria_SP19.JPG (1.6 MB)
Download Burnash_Philodendron_SP19.JPG (1.9 MB)
Download Burnash_Oleander_SP19.JPG (1.8 MB)
Download Burnash_Revelation_SP19.JPG (2.0 MB)
Download Burnash_Horsdoeuvre_SP19.JPG (2.4 MB)
Download Burnash_Foxglove_SP19.JPG (1.9 MB)
Download Burnash_Dumbcane_SP19.JPG (1.7 MB)
Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
Flowers are a beautiful, ever changing part of nature. Historically, flowers have been symbols for beauty, love, and fertility. However, I choose to paint poisonous flowers to represent the fatal beauty of the things we are drawn to even when they are not good for us. Within my work, poisonous flowers symbolize negative thoughts and emotions I have about self-harm and being trapped.
Little moments in my life bring about anxious feelings. To both represent and to combat these feelings, I create images of domestic space relatable to the viewer, but fraught with tense energy from proliferating flowers and intense impasto textures. The vacant rooms in my paintings seem normal at first glance, but upon further reflection, the viewer finds that the flowers are positioned in unnatural locations and are growing intrusively throughout the environment.
I create a visual language throughout my paintings that allows me to translate color, texture, and overall energy of an everyday moment into something that makes the viewer concerned. Heavy impasto pulls the viewers’ attention through the space, while the flatter areas are places of rest or of avoidance. I implore the viewer to question the narrative setting, the meaning of the flowers, and their personal role in the scene.
My work reflects on the ways doubt, avoidance, and guilt can grow profusely and pervasively in our minds. I want to explore the intensity of the intrusive thoughts that people experience in their daily life, even if others can’t see them. As in gardening, it can be hard to get rid of stubborn, invasive flora, even for the best gardeners. When harmful thoughts and feelings come back, season after season, what matters is how we respond to them. Do we let them take over everything in their path, or do we learn to live with their presence, giving them the attention they need, but slowly reclaiming the breathable air around us as our own?
Oil on Panel
Burnash, Sadie, "Invasive Flora" (2019). B.F.A. Practicum Exhibition (ART 498). 36.