Congratulations to Lilli Waters, her work ‘Tulpenmanie‘ has been selected as a Finalist in the Du Rietz Art Prize for 2022. 

The exhibition will take place at the Gympie Regional Gallery in QLD from the 14th of July to the 26th of August, with the official Opening and Award Presentations taking place on Friday 15th July 6pm. 


At first glance sumptuous floral blooms decorated with sea creatures and glistening effervescence emerge from velvety darkness. This series of underwater still lifes draws inspiration from paintings by the old Dutch masters – images of flowers symbolising beauty, nobility and prosperity and their impermanence. ‘Tulpenmanie’ references Abraham Mignon’s ‘Still Life with Flowers in a Glass Vase’, and ‘Passiflora Edulis’ references Cornelis de Heem’s ‘Festoon with Fruit and Flowers’.

A closer gaze reveals a mash-up: luxe Rembrandt-esque blooms are entwined with g(littering) plastic, and the darkness lends the images a lonely, eerie quality. Prosperity has typically been lauded as something to desire and celebrate, yet now more than ever, the unpleasant complexities of wealth and indulgence are apparent. Globally, we nonchalantly poison the environment in pursuit of prosperity.

This series also references one of the earliest examples of consumerism and collective mania – the Dutch Tulip fever in the early 1600’s. The exotic coloration of the most highly prized tulip during tulpenmanie was caused by a virus that infected the flower, leading to a buying hysteria.

‘Disenchantments of the World’ is a contemporary exploration of human darkness, desire, and the fleeting nature of earthly pleasures.

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