Oil on Canvas, 30" x 30", 2020
Orchid: Dendrobium nobile
Native Range: Chinese Himalayas, eastern Himalayas, India (states of Assam and Sikkim), Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam
Conservation Status: Threatened due to over-collection, mostly for its medicinal properties
“My painting, “Celestial Attraction”, is a floral metaphor for the forces of attraction and the fundamental power that exists between particles with mass throughout the universe. Beauty abounds both in macro and micro domains, not only on the surface of our planet but also in the celestial magnetism of the cosmos.
In astronomy, black holes are defined as a region of space having a gravitational pull so intense that nothing, not even light, can escape. In our common language we refer symbolically to black holes as places where things disappear without a trace.
On our planet, natural things are disappearing at an astonishing rate, even faster than we are discovering new ones.
Although extinction is a natural phenomenon and naturally occurs at an average rate of five species per year, we are now losing species at up to 1,000 times that rate according to the Center for Biological Diversity. This translates to 1,000,000 species at risk for extinction. According to the American Orchid Society, roughly half of all orchid species are at risk of extinction and the other half is endangered.
The orchid depicted in this painting, Dendrobium nobile commonly known as the Noble Rock Orchid, is a pertinent ambassador for endangered orchids. Beloved throughout Asia for its beautiful flowers, this species is also one of the main endangered orchid species in India, Sri Lanka, and China, overexploited for its use as a cure-all in the herbal medicine traditions.
In my painting, “Celestial Attraction’” orchids float in a cosmic abyss, metaphorically imploring the viewer to look deeper, breakthrough and go beyond our understanding of natural systems, to explore and discover the unseen.”