The genus Rosa encompasses over 100 species of perennial shrub, each with an identifiable bloom. George reiterates the plant’s origins in Persia and the ancient Arab world with the title Ishfahan, the name of a province south of Teheran famous for its production of decorative textiles and carpet. Another Acheiropoeta refers to the Greek ‘made without hands’ – used in relation to Christian icons to imply their miraculous creation. Displayed as a grid, Fog garden eludes to the ubiquitous nature of the rose in contemporary life, from the aromatic heritage bushes over the neighbourhood fence to the bouquets of stemmed red roses given on Valentine’s Day. Like the plant, the rose’s symbolism crosses temporal and geographic, religious and political boundaries to assert a multitude of meanings from passion and carnal desire, to martyrdom and remembrance.
The artist cultivated these flawless specimens in his garden, tending to each bush with care. The flowers were cut at the perfect moment of opening and their portrait shot under studio lights. This superficial beauty, however masks a darker symbolism. Meticulously overlaid on the petals of each subject, silhouettes of military aircraft are inserted between arabesques, abstracted designs appropriated from Mosques interiors. These roses communicate conflict and the enduring nature of human boarders, both ideological and material.
Fog Garden series 2012
Edition of 6 + 1 AP
About the Artist
Dr Phillip George is a Sydney-based artist, he has held 33 solo exhibitions and over 100 group exhibitions nationally and internationally- including; seminal exhibition, Borderlands, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney. 2015 Writing Landscape, Australian Centre for Photography Sydney, Borderlands, Islamic Museum of Australia 2014, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Thesalonika, Stills Gallery Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Australian Centre for Photography, National Gallery of Thailand, Bangkok, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, National Museum of Australia, National Gallery of Australia Canberra, The Digital Salon New York, The Australian Biennale of Art, Ballarat. Art. Represented in collections of the National Gallery of Australia, The National Maritime Museum Sydney and extensive private collections nationally and internationally.
George is renowned for his research-based artistic practices that show an emphasis upon research outreach toward Culturally and Linguistically Diversity in Australia. George’s practice operates across zones of cultural difference; exploring and making connections between the complexities that exist between ‘East and West’ His work draws connections between Australian beach culture and the fractured, turbulent zones of the Middle East, George’s photographs, sculptures and interactive multimedia installations are images of the collisions of East and West. And are distinctive by their-Hi-tech, seamless molding of positive historical continuum. His vivid condensation of artistically and scientific analogies contributes to the resolution of particularly difficult millennial double bind occupying theorists and artist nationally and internationally. Through this we can retrace the artists specific trajectory throughout the discourse on art, and politics. Georges practice and extensive travels gives form to his contrapuntal perceptions within contemporary art. 2018 George, co- curated, Enough خلا†ص Khalas, at the University of New South Wales Galleries.