The Byrne Gallery in Middleburg will present Hanakotoba, The Language of Flowers, a celebration of the cherry blossom season which introduces the art of Caroline Garrett Hardy. A professor of art and printmaking, her very original medium presented on handmade rice paper incorporates both her lovely painting and her sculptural use of paper and found objects.She creates a contemporary “remix” kimono in vibrant color that speaks to the elegance and beauty of traditional Japanese textiles and watercolors. The exhibit will begin on March 3rd and continue through Sunday, May 1st 2022. There will be a reception on Saturday, March 12 from 4 -7 p.m. The reception is open to the public at the gallery at 7 West Washington Street
“The Japanese sense of style and color influences my work,” Caroline Garrett Hardy noted. “Primarily, I make Asian-themed paper kimonos, using rice paper (actually made from mulberry trees), but also bits of scrap paper from many other sources. In these garments, and in the occasional collage, I make use of the symbolic power of flower and floral symbols, drawing on the Japanese practice characterized by the term hanakotoba. The term means flower words, or more loosely, the language of flowers.
“Artisans use hanakotoba to emphasize the passing of time, to describe feelings, or to foreshadow important future events. For example, consistent with that idea, I might use cherry blossoms to acknowledge the passing of time, the ephemeral nature of beauty, and the hope for beauty’s return. Drawing more loosely on the Asian theme, I sometimes reference the passing of time with the use of discarded materials like napkins, tourist brochures, and the like, or by the creation of a garment from a time quite distant from our own. Recycling materials thus references my Western take on hanakotoba—here, the hope of finding a returned beauty in rejected ephemera.”
Her kimonos “sing” visually using vibrant colors and patterns. These colors and patterns are meant to catch viewers’ attention and give them a visual treat. More subtly, they slow down the passage of their own time, so they can begin to absorb the richer meanings that lie behind the profusion of surface textures. Details at https://www.thebyrnegallery.com/.