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artist statement

I’m obsessed with eucalypt leaves, they were the first leaves I ever wanted to paint, such a variety of shapes and colours. This painting is part of a current series of eucalyptus paintings I’m working on.

These leaves have been affected by myrtle rust, a serious fungal disease affecting the plant
family Myrtaceae, which includes many Australian natives commonly found in Victoria
including Eucalyptus. Since starting botanical illustration, I have learned the importance of
biosecurity and how dangerous diseases can be to our native flora.

My vision for this painting was to show that regardless of the fungus these leaves were still
beautiful and served as a reminder that we require vigilance to adequately protect our
environment. These leaves are now dry, but that fragility has made them even more precious
to me.

I confront culture and identity; I refuse to encourage stigmas or listen to what media
channels tell us is beautiful or should be valued. I invite the audience to reflect on this
connection within themselves and their experiences, see that we are all beautiful and
deserve to feel valued irrespective of our maladies or mental illness

gum leaves trans v3.png

A Beautiful Malady
Manifest Exhibition – Nov 2019

Vanda Cummins - Watercolourist

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