The Flowers of Evil is a collection of new paintings by Jennifer Allnutt and her love letter to eighteenth-century poet Charles Baudelaire's seminal work of the same name.
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Opening reception: Saturday, March 2nd, 6pm - 9pm. Drinks will be provided by our friends at Better Beer and Malocchio.
"I'm like a painter whom God's mocking wit
Condemns to paint, Alas! Upon the shades,
Or like a manic cook with morbid tastes
Who boils his own heart and then dines on it"
- Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil)
Eighteenth-century French romantic poet Charles Baudelaire and his seminal work "The Flowers of Evil" were the catalysts of inspiration for Jennifer Allnutt and this new collection of the same name.
In homage to Baudelaire, Allnutt explores the poet's themes of dualities—such as life and death, beauty and decay—through a lens that balances formal beauty with symbolic depth. Allnutt's works reflect existential themes, influenced by her early encounters with existentialism and the macabre. Her paintings oscillate between the transient beauty of floral elements and their inevitable decay. At times, the flora are simply beautiful, poignant representations of the transience of nature and, thus in ourselves. Other times, they consume, like vampires, engulfing a head or growing from a skull. Bugs and butterflies creep between, slowly eroding these beautiful things. The ugliness of decomposition is both the anti-thesis of beauty and the stuff from which it is made. Inherent within this duality are questions about finding life in death, beauty in decay, or love in grief. Allnutt ruminates in oil paint on these paradoxical themes, and ultimately, the work suggests that one cannot exist without the other. The 'other' or the 'evil' is what makes the' flowers' truly an exuberance of beauty.
Jennifer Allnutt is an artist based in Brisbane, Australia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours First Class) from UniSA in 2011 and a Masters of Teaching (2016). Allnutt has exhibited around Australia, the United States and New Zealand