The Botanical Tyranny Parlor – Gallery Exhibition

The Bell Gallery at Ethel Walker School, 230 Bushy Hill Road, is exhibiting The Botanical Tyranny Parlor by installation artist Jane Rainwater. Nov. 14-Dec. 28th.

Gallery hours:  Dec.5-14 3:30-5:30pm; Dec 2 and Dec. 16 10:00am

The Botanical Tyranny Parlor engages the viewer with its seemingly innocent decorative delight; yet upon closer examination the work challenges and questions our attraction by revealing darker truths. Rainwater explores the hidden cost inherent in most of what we find seductively attractive The fabric design references classical nature illustration, Victorian silhouettes, wallpaper and prints as a critique of cultural history. A dark undercurrent of “cultural reckoning” informs this installation. In the tradition of botanical illustration, the silhouettes of seeming real plants and animals are in fact, carefully constructed from silhouettes of axes, scimitars, guns and grenades. Our measured gardens and cultivated civility are rooted in a history of violent conquest. While grenades may have replaced scimitars in our arsenals, the underlying theme remains. The beauty of our culture, like that all of those which preceded it, is but a mask for the ugliness of our own nature.

Botanical Tyranny Parlor at Bell