Exploring the ever-growing world of flowers with Copenhagen painter, Maria Dubin
Painter Maria Dubin’s Copenhagen exhibition “Take a Walk in the Park” is the latest development in her explorations of flowers
Image: Maria Dubin
Sometimes in life, one can feel overwhelmed and suffocated by the pressure society exerts on us. Taking time off, stopping for a while, and going back to contemplating simple things, or reconnecting with nature can be fruitful approaches to re-establishing peace within ourselves.
Danish-American artist and member Maria Dubin follows this path in her book series ‘Karen Blixten’s flowers’ analyzed by curator Catherine Lefebre, and art critic and author of the introduction to the series Mai Misfeldt.
“[It is] a meditative, slow, introverted, and discreet process, hardly noticeable, in which flowers are picked and studied before being transformed with a disciplined, yet warm, black Indian ink pen, into a simple, stringent expression of the flower’s essential being.” Catherine explains.
“Karen Blixen’s Flowers“
Images: Maria Dubin
Mai also focuses on the process in her discussion of Maria’s work: “By slowing down we can experience the beauty, enjoyment, and lightness of spirit to be found there. When you go for a walk in the park, there should be time to stop, even to lie down and look up at the flowering corollas, close your eyes for a while, open them again and contemplate a leaf, slowly spiraling down from an Autumn branch“.
“Take a walk in the park”
Images: Maria Dubin
“Exercise: Take a walk until you come across a garden. Go in and choose the flower that most appeals to you. Pick it and carry it home, carefully. Look at it closely before putting it away. Then draw the flower in one concentrated movement. Repeat this exercise regularly.”
– Maria Dubin
“From this opening statement in Maria’s “Karen Blixen’s Flowers” her flower theme has since undergone a transformation into an explosion of form and colour. Now we meet the extroverted side to Dubin’s work”, Catherine continues.
“She works her way into the flower’s essential being using a generous palette of colours, reminiscent of a luxuriant mid-Summer garden. There is no holding back, but instead an abundance of light, colour, joy, and nature.
The Black Flower is suddenly transformed into part of a gigantic nature picture, which almost seems to burst through the frame: can the flowers stay inside? Everything is on its way out, expanding and growing within us, out into the world.
It began with a personal journal, a discreet exercise to be repeated regularly. The flower had to be experienced with the senses. It became a black Haiku poem, in which the flower’s intrinsic nature was captured in one concentrated movement. From the Haiku poem, a story developed – as with Karen Blixen – a story of generosity, life’s journey, and threads of destiny. The flower leads us to many different places and captures us at the moment it is picked from the garden. At the very same moment when it is at its most enchanting and beguiling.” writes Catherine, analyzing the evolution of Maria’s work and approach.
Find out more about Maria’s exhibition ‘A Walk in the Park’.
Original texts in Danish by Catherine Lefebre and Mai Misfeldt, translated to English by Roberta Kettel
“A colourful message from the Black Flower”
Images: Maria Dubin
- Visit Copenhagen, the hub of nordic design and art and wander through this highly sustainable city filled with parks, wide cycle lanes and perfect ‘hygge’ spots around the waterfront.
“The clothing and textile industry is one of the richest and most productive ones on the planet. Fast-fashion has been taking over the world in the last few decades, being the exact opposite of what can be considered sustainable living.
Is it possible to merge the ever-changing multibillion-dollar clothing industry and its need for fashionable outfits with sustainability?”
“My freedom ends where yours begins” is one of the very well-known rules that define the boundaries of our lives. Sometimes, however, these boundaries are too tight and we feel the need of going beyond and experiment, try, fail, improve, try again to fully understand what our role in the world is.
What is more important, then? The realization of our own personal talents and mission or the adherence to the boundaries of the society? Is a certain level of selfishness excusable if it is needed to accomplish our mission on this planet or is collective freedom a unbreakable ethical barrier?”
“Oscar Wilde used to say “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.“. Love can however be more complex than that, as it is one of the most thrilling, intense and yet frightening feelings you can experience. Sometimes, it can even turn into a way to escape from your own chaotic and paralyzing thoughts and emotions.”