Another Natural Perspective

Deirdre Bean

21 April - 31 May 2020

Internationally recognised for her intricate botanical illustrations, DEIRDRE BEAN takes her attention to detail to another level. DEIRDRE’s fine, scientifically accurate drawings taken from life have been painstakingly developed over extended periods of time. As she works, she develops an intimate relationship with her subjects over many hours of close inspection.

Although DEIRDRE BEAN draws directly on her experience as a natural history illustrator, she maintains a subtle, yet rich layering of meaning in the compositions or her watercolours. DEIRDRE carefully and thoughtfully pairs her botanicals with a series of companion pieces; objects imbued with personal, familial and sometimes broader cultural meanings and associations. The pairing of objects within these still life contexts, see family history and natural history combined. Here, the perspective shifts and away from a purely classical botanical and scientific one and evolves and merges into the realm of storytelling imbued with both personal and cultural significance.

The combination of natural world objects with human manufactured objects leads to what DEIRDRE BEAN refers to as uncommon portraits. At a glance they are peculiar combinations; antique spoons sit beside specimens of intricate flowers, a bright red-orange persimmon sits complementary to a fine blue china cup. On closer inspection these quizzical combinations reflect the artist’s nostalgia. The botanical specimens; where they were collected, personal daily associations and childhood memories all hold meaning beyond the purely scientific. Both the botanical specimen and companion still life object play off each other whether seemingly complimentary or contradictory.

The companion pieces in these still life compositions become small windows into the artist’s life and memories.

In one particular watercolour, the beautifully rendered persimmon was actually harvested by her partner from a tree on his property, as has been deftly illustrated on the blue and white porcelain cup within the composition.

In another work a small, fresh branch of eucalyptus leaves is placed beside an old, battered and rusting enamel cup in an iconic mint green with blue rim. A cultural staple and a durable and enduring icon of Australian life in the bush, and experiences of travel and camping with roughed up enamel cups of tea. In these ways DEIRDRE BEAN is able to bring her fine illustrative style, and skilled traditional botanical painting methods into a fresh contemporary practice inspired by the natural world.

 



Deirdre Bean - Artichoke Flower 2019
Deirdre Bean
Artichoke Flower
graphite and watercolour on paper
63 x 51 cm

$4,400
For Sale
For Sale
Deirdre Bean - Coral Tree and Ginger Jar
Deirdre Bean
Coral Tree and Ginger Jar
watercolour on paper
44 x 53 cm

$2,900
SOLD
SOLD
Deirdre Bean - Strelitzia and Fish Servers 2019
Deirdre Bean
Strelitzia and Fish Servers
watercolour on paper
51 x 35 cm

$2,800
For Sale
For Sale
Deirdre Bean - Two Camellias
Deirdre Bean
Two Camellias
watercolour on paper
46 x 34 cm

$2,500
SOLD
SOLD
Deirdre Bean - Kangaroo Paw and Plate
Deirdre Bean
Kangaroo Paw and Plate
watercolour on paper
37 x 32 cm

$2,500
For Sale
For Sale
Deirdre Bean - Gum Leaves and Enamel Cup 2019
Deirdre Bean
Gum Leaves and Enamel Cup
watercolour on paper
25 x 33 cm

$2,500
SOLD
SOLD
Deirdre Bean - Azure Kingfisher 2019
Deirdre Bean
Azure Kingfisher
watercolour on paper
30 x 25 cm

$2,500
For Sale
For Sale
Deirdre Bean - Eggplant and Serving Spoon 2019
Deirdre Bean
Eggplant and Serving Spoon
watercolour on paper
29 x 22 cm

$2,000
For Sale
For Sale
Deirdre Bean - Persimmon and Cup 2019
Deirdre Bean
Persimmon and Cup
watercolour on paper
20 x 28 cm

$1,800
For Sale
For Sale
Deirdre Bean - Passionflower and Periwinkle 2019
Deirdre Bean
Passionflower and Periwinkle
watercolour on vellum
13 x 19 cm

$1,200
For Sale
For Sale
Deirdre Bean - Blue Mackerel and Chopsticks 2020
Deirdre Bean
Blue Mackerel and Chopsticks
watercolour on vellum
38 x 23 cm

$2,500
For Sale
For Sale