Phacelia Tanacetifolia

Phacelia Tanacetifolia 1-6, acrylic and spray on round canvas, 70 x 70 cm each

Cataclysmic events are reminders that in an instant everything can turn upside down, and nobody is immune. So much we have wrought has spiraled out of control, and it is turning back on us. Phyla’s circular portrayals of a single delicate flowering plant, Phacelia Tanacetifolia 1-6 (2020), in various glowing hues call to mind phosphorescent microbes or plankton viewed through a microscope—or the depiction of COVID-19 as a floral bud. Bacteria may be our fickle friends, often stabbing us in the back, but without them we would be dead.In fact the coronavirus can be seen as a symptom of the Earth’s antibodies fighting against the disease of our existence. If the color red signifies fever, rapidly intensifying and expanding on interactive heat maps of the planet, the patient is clearly in critical condition. The question is: How red is too red? Cathryn Drake

Photography by Eleni Phyla, Emma Louise Charalambous at the Edit Gallery