40cm x 50cm - 2009

Acrylic, orchids

Shakespeare’s tragic heroine, who always lived in the shadows, found her compensation in the history of art, especially amongst the Pre-Raphaelites. Sir John Everett Millais, portrayed her with open arms and upwards gaze: converging traditional representations of saints or martyrs, with a strong erotic magnetism. The orchid’s etymology evokes a sexual missive, as the name comes from the Greek “órkhis”, literally meaning testicle, because of the shape of the bud. In the language of flowers, the orchid, symbolises refined beauty, just as the fairness of Ophelia in her eternal rest.