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The gravity of flowers

By Kathleen Cammarata

Gravity is the familiar physical force that keeps the earth, the moon, the stars and human bodies in their places. But the primary definition of the word is from the Latin gravitas: grave, solemn and serious. In a series of 28 pencil drawings of flowers, Kathleen Cammarata has worked conceptually with both definitions.

Drawings by Kathleen Cammarata
Sun, Aug 3, 1-4pm
Esperanza Studio
Alameda 6
Col. San Antonio

Flowers are experienced as something lightweight, delicate, easily blown away. They are so light they can be worn on the head as a wreath or on the heart as a corsage. Their beauty is alluring though their lifespan is short. Hence they retire to an early grave.

The meaning of flowers is profound. Throughout history they have been used to celebrate weddings, anniversaries, funerals, May Day, Mother’s Day, Day of the Dead, Christmas, Easter, and many more festivals. From ancient times flowers have been symbolic. The Romans honored their heroes with laurel wreaths. Greek mythology tells how flowers were named. In Victorian times if flowers were worn on the heart they meant love, worn in the hair they meant caution. If the flowers were upside down the opposite meaning was intended, e.g. a rejection from a lover.

Looking at Cammarata’s drawings the first thing one notices is the flowers are not represented in a traditional manner. There are no gardens, no vases, no bouquets. The flowers are mostly stemless, compressed together and entering the picture plane as a force. In some images they are bearing down from the top, in others they are swooping in from the side. They are flying, falling, molting. In the last six of the series they are floating worlds in a soft sky. These flowers, though delicately drawn, are not fragile.

The drawings can be viewed at Esperanza Studio, Alameda #6, San Antonio on Sunday, August 3, from 1 to 4 pm.


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