Submitted Work

Emma Bourke - Ireland


6.2 x 5.9 x 5.9     An awareness of our heritage is essential to understand our identity and to contextualise our cultures. My research into botanical mythology helps me appreciate how communities have developed and enables me to construct a sense of place within increasingly international systems of communication and visual information.

My new work is based on the definition of Biophilia; the innate human tendency to seek connections with nature. I created enclosed gardens of wild plants that have many traditional and contemporary medicinal uses. Speedwell is a good example, while this pretty blue flower is said to be a cure all it is mainly used as an expectorant for respiratory problems, stomach ailments and skin irratants.

I took a scientific approach when creating the petals and branches in lampworked borosilicate glass, to scrutinise the physicality, scale and fragility of the original plant. Recreating the physical form of the plant in another material, such as glass, is another way to pass down information about a plant. The materials I use are timeless and sustainable, it’s important to me that I create works that exist both then and now; that speak of our history to a 2021 audience.