Ilnacullin is an island garden of diminutive size and rare beauty. Nestled in the sheltered coastal harbour at Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, Ireland, the gardens display a wealth of unique horticultural and architectural gems.₁

With ‘Dahlia from the Ilnacullin (Garinish Island)’ I used one photograph of a dahlia made on film during my visit and repeated the flower twenty-five times, fertilizing the photograph. This fertilization led to various forms of painted structures created in such a way that the paint had power over the tool. This means that paint is applied in a fluid and uncontrolled gesture, giving space for the paint to come into dialogue with the photograph of the dahlia.

Named after the Swedish Anders Dahl, the dahlia was used by indigenous people, who used both wild and cultivated dahlias as a source of food for centuries. The Aztecs believed them to be a cure for epilepsy and used the long, hollow stems of certain types as water pipes. Many years later, dahlias became the favorite flower of the court of Queen Victoria, and it’s during this time that the beauty of the stem inspired great symbolic meaning to express personal sentiments of commitment, dignity, and elegance, a meaning that has survived and is still associated with dahlias today.₂



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