Sonnet 18 Shakespeare
This Gives Life To Me
75 x 100 cm, 160 x 120 cm and 175,5 x 233,5 cm
This floral „wildlife” opulent and exploding in three dimensions like a firework display, comes from the land of tulips. It is as if photography had already existed during the Baroque period, and one was just unaware of it. With the fervour of an orchestra, Margriet Smulders plunges into the viewer’s consciousness; they no longer know where to direct their gaze. It is difficult to believe, but no digital special effects have been used. Everything that you see is real and tangible and even quite commonplace. It is the elixer of life in its purest form and hence the title, „This gives Life to me”.
The image is so sumptuously charged with fertility that it seems almost capable of giving life. Plump flowers crowd in from all sides towards the centre of the image where a flowing river, which at first appears to be covered in fog, has actually been mixed with milk.
Milk is to mammals what water is to plants and other organisms: namely nourishment from the mother, the mother of all sustenance. From its appearance it could just as well be the male’s seminal fluid.
Smulders successfully encompasses the entire life cycle from father and mother to the amniotic fluid and birth canal. And the cycle of life broadens even further: the scenery below the surface arouses associations with Hades, the realm of the dead from Greek mythology that is bestrewn with several rivers. The image reminds us of the dual symbolism of flowers, incorporating at the same time life and transience.
Adrian Giacomelli, 2014