LISA SHARKEY

Laid to Bare — $350
2023, Ilford Galerie Pearl 310gsm, edition of 5


Lisa writes

The first Peony that I photographed was gifted to me by my daughter Tula, who is a florist and lover of beauty. I was entranced by its fullness a sense of abundance in its ruffles and the Coral colour was captivating.

I photographed them daily whilst recovering my health, each day a new surprise emerged from the folds of its petals. As it bloomed, it unfolded more to reveal its sensuous golden yellow stamens and later the carpel, the Peonies ovaries, a cluster of four individual capsules apparently bulging with seeds. Frilled, fuchsia-coloured tips emerging from the green carpels.

Daily the flower continued to open and transform in its dance of time reminding me of Buddhist teachings.

“There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally, of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.”
― Chogyam Trungpa

As days passed its beautiful rich deep pink changed to a peachy tone then paler soft pink becoming more translucent in the light that was beaming into my room. Eventually fading to parchment colour then cream and finally white. The guard petals relaxing their duty of supporting the Peony, allowing the petals to fall, to my eye, they resembled feathers.

Captivated by Peonies I was gifted another by my friend Margaret and others I gifted to myself bought from my local florist If Florist in Maroubra. My rapture and ‘Peony gazing’ continued until the window of their short blooming season came to a close.

See more of Lisa’s work on Instagram @sharkeyeye