Definition:  A collage in floral art is an exhibit in which plant material, fresh, dried or both, with or without accessories is displayed on a visible background of any material. The components need not be linked and the design should be three dimensional, either framed or unframed.


Class title: Depicting a Painting by an Australian indigenous artist

Staging: collage, 60cm wide 80cm height, Australian native plant material only

To ensure that the judge was aware of the painting I used for inspiration (Birth of the Butterfly), I have included a colour print of it at the base of my collage.


Birth of the Butterfly

The backing is a cake board, already finished in silver (to match the painting) and solid enough for my design. I love using cake boards as bases – you can get so many different shapes and sizes.

In keeping with the butterfly and brown tonings of the painting, there is a section of dirt glued to the backing, some casuarina seed pods on handmade flower pressed paper and curled bark containing the lacy flowers of melaleuca with gumnuts.

The most difficult thing I find with a collage is not linking the elements – we do become accustomed to thinking of designs as a complete unit. With a collage you should list the elements you think of first when looking at the Class title, then use some of these in your design. For example, when I first looked at the painting what struck me was the brown colour and the swirling centre – thus they became the main elements for my interpretation.

Judging feedback: The design could have been improved with more emphasis on the swirling nature of the original painting – some gum leaves in a spiral with painted gumnuts to represent the butterflies. Overall a good collage representation of the original painting.

The painting – Birth of the Butterfly by Peter Muraay Djeripi Mulcahy



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