Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Poor Dandelion

A couple of months ago i was contacted by Dr Lena Struwe, an associate professor and the director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University in the USA. She had found my blog while researching weeds and the symbolism of dandelions in contemporary popular culture. We have emailed a couple of times and she's written details about her research looking at the evolutionary biology of weeds - it's fascinating. Lena also sent a few items for the Dandelion Archive: the image here shows an advert from a magazine.

The poor dandelion! Being used as a metaphor for cancer. The unwanted weed in an otherwise perfect lawn. "The challenge is to identify and attack the genetic flaws of each cancer". I suppose as a marketing idea it's saying what the company intended - but it isn't helping the negative reputation the dandelion continues to have.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Arthur Hughes Dandelion

I've been so busy this last 6 weeks i haven't had time to put anything new on the blog. 
Anyway, here is another dandelion I found in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (see post below) earlier this year.
Home from Sea is by Arthur Hughes and is oil on panel. The landscape was begun in 1856 in Chingford churchyard and the painting was first exhibited in 1857 as The Mother's Grave. Hughes altered the painting in 1862 by adding the sister figure. There are a few small dandelions, both in flower and seed, at the bottom of the painting in the grass. The label for the painting says: 'The details reinforce the pathos of the subject, so that the ephemeral nature of the spider's webs, dew drops, dog roses and dandelion seeds emphasise the theme of transience.'