Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Indian Dandelions

I'm here in Mumbai for 2 months - on a Gasworks International Fellowship and i'm staying on the outskirts of the city in the north at an artist organisation called CONA. It's wonderful here as we're right next door to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park so I can see kites, parakeets, sunbirds and lots of butterflies all around where I am staying.
However, I haven't found one dandelion specimen for the collection - which is a shame. And then last night i found this little gem on the bookshelf in the house: it's a book called Flower Thoughts, A Selection. Edited by Louise Bachelder and with wonderful illustrations by the incredible Eric Carle. The quote to accompany this illustration of a dandelion is by Henry Ward Beecher:

You cannot forget if you would, those golden kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow, queerly called dandelions.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Mandela House dandelion

Last weekend I went to see Mandela House at 8115 Orlando West in Soweto. Nelson Mandela moved there in 1946 with his first wife Evelyn Ntoko Mase and his first son. It's now a little museum. It's a very moving place, humble, simple - but that's what makes it such a powerful place.
There isn't a garden as such, but around the house it's all brick paving - and it's here that i found the tiniest dandelion in a crack between the bricks.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Dandelions in South Africa

I'm in South Africa!
I'm here for a month on a residency - it's just outside Johannesburg out in the country with amazing and wonderful plants I've never seen before.
However, as usual i've been on the lookout for dandelions and i found a few little ones in the lawns around the house where i'm staying. I've now found quite a few in different locations and will put some more images on during this week sometime.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Peter Scott Gallery

I'm really thrilled that the Peter Scott Gallery in Lancaster has purchased two of my dandelion prints for their permanent collection. Both screen prints were made as a result of a residency I did at LICA (Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts) in 2011. 
Here's one of the prints Dandelions x 20

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Lewis F Day Dandelion

I'm always on the look out for dandelion designs in all art forms...
This incredibly beautiful wooden panel is designed by Lewis F Day (1845 - 1910) a British designer and author of many books on design and ornament.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Stanley Spencer Dandelions

I went to London last weekend for a couple of meetings and while there I got the chance to visit Tate Britain.
I'm always on the look out for dandelions in art and spotted these in The Resurrection, Cookham (1924 - 7) by Stanley Spencer. For more information on his work and this painting at the Tate go here:


Thursday, 30 May 2013


While in Transylvania earlier this month I saw this wonderful / freakish dandelion with 10 flower heads on one stalk. In the past I have noticed dandelions with two or three heads, but never this many - amazing abnormal thing.

Friday, 17 May 2013


I have just returned from 3 weeks working in Romania on a residency for another project, but as always, I still managed to collect specimens of the dandelions there. I collected leaf specimens for the Dandelion Diaries from every location on each day - so I have quite a few to sort through.

The Romanian for dandelion is papadie and they were fully in flower while i was there - bright and beautiful.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Leeds Dandelions

I was in Leeds yesterday with my friend Elaine to visit the Northern Art Prize at the City Art Gallery.
As always I collected a couple of dandelion leaves, this time from a little derelict plot near St Thomas Row.

It was a mixed day as it took me over 3 hours to get from Preston to Leeds: the original train was cancelled, i was kicked off the next train as my ticket wasn't valid for that particular train company, i had to catch a bus to another train station so i could resume my journey with my particular ticket arriving over 3 hours later... Elaine pointed out the irony of it being on the day Thatcher was buried. 

Monday, 8 April 2013


The dandelion is the archetype weed and its image is used on most packets and containers for weed killers. Lawn lovers who aspire to keep a perfectly green and pest free lawn hate the dandelion. Along with the many weed killers on the market there are also gardening tools specifically designed to help root out dandelions from your lawn.

I am really interested in how a plant species can insight so much frustration and animosity as if deliberate in its intention. I quite like the idea of irate individuals spending their time worrying about a flower in the wrong place. A continual battle, year after year striving for their ideal of perfection.

It's a mocking plant - beautiful, unmissably bright yellow and not bothered.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Liverpool World Museum Dandelions

I was lucky to be invited to see the herbarium at Liverpool World Museum the other day. I was able to look at some of their dandelion specimen sheets held in their extensive collection. I was particularly interested in specimens collected locally to Liverpool and Lancashire. The dandelions are so beautiful, but stark when pressed - the outlines so pronounced when viewed in silhouette on white paper. 
And it was really great to talk to both botanists at the museum Geraldine and Wendy who gave me masses of information and whose enthusiasm for the subject was infectious and very inspiring.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Dandelion Stamps

I got this first day cover the other day through the post - it's German and dated 13.10.77
The envelope features a dandelion design (and is embossed with a gold outline which doesn't come out on the image) and one of the set of four stamps shows a dandelion illustration.

I've seen there are many more postage stamps depicting dandelions on from: Austria, UK, Poland, Norway, Japan, Antigua and Barbuda, Mongolia, Estonia, North Korea, Ireland, Afghanistan and Iceland. I expect to find more too.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Symbol of Hope

I've been looking at the symbolism of the dandelion flower and its seed head. The seed head is often used to represent hope and making wishes and a while ago I collected a leaflet from Macmillan, the cancer support charity, highlighting their tribute fund.
Time passing, scattering our wishes in the breeze, the continuation of a life - one image of the dandelion gives us all this.


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Simon Plum Dandelions

I was at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery here in Preston on Friday and on the stairway is an exhibition by Simon Plum - a local printmaker. His drawings and prints reveal illustrations of strange scenes with animals, plants and people in odd settings.

I was interested to see dandelions in one of his prints - shown here. 

Down the Garden Path runs until April 14th - so you've got plenty of time to see the exhibition for yourself at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Jean-Francois Millet

I've been researching dandelions and their representation in art for a while now and i've been finding images of them in paintings, drawings and objects etc... 

Above is a painting by Jean-Francois Millet called Dandelions. It was painted in 1867 - 68 and is held in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston USA. Please visit their website for more details. It says it's not on display - so perhaps hold off going to check it out in the flesh.


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

In Residence

I have a couple of screen prints and a drawing of dandelions in an exhibition that opened last week at the Peter Scott Gallery in Lancaster.

The gallery is open Monday - Friday 11am - 5pm 
Saturday 11am - 4pm

The show In Residence runs until March 22nd and is free

Other artists in the exhibition are Conrad Atkinson, Daniel Sturgis, Rob Kesseler and Invisible Flock

Go and take a look if you have time - it's a great gallery.


Monday, 28 January 2013

More Tea

There are a few teas on the market with dandelion in - so i'm trying to collect examples for the dandelion archive - and also take photographs of the packaging.

Here is some detox herbal tea from Birt and Tang - that will 'help you cope with life in today's environment' apparently.

Thursday, 24 January 2013


It's been a very long time since the last post - over a year in fact - sorry.
I've been busy doing other projects (in case you're interested):


However, i am still collecting many dandelion specimens from wherever I go and the archive of dandelion related artifacts and objects is growing slowly.
So, i'm going to try and update the blog in the next few weeks with stuff and things...

Here is a box of yummy looking pissenlit tea (looses it's appeal somehow in another language).