Late Bloomer

Sculptural installation with string, satin, ceramics, grass, blued steel, textile dyed with Greater Celandine and photographic print of Henbane on plexiglass

Photo by Rine Rodin

Late Bloomer

     Exhibited at Havebiennalen, 2021

Late Bloomer is a body in transformation, full of potential, sprouting new limbs. On the face of the sculpture a Henbane is in full bloom. This beautiful, poisonous and hallucinogenic plant has been used by witches for flying ointments and as a remedy for everything from watery eyes to swollen breasts. Henbane is a relic, a living fossil. Its seeds can survive for hundreds of years in the ground and often germinate during archaeological excavations – a late bloomer. As if there is a right time to bloom. This reminds me of the proverbial leap out of the closet, and I like to imagine this process instead as a flowering – something living and gradual. Some flowers bloom during the day, others in the evening or even at night. Some seeds germinate like the Henbane's after 600 years of dormancy. A flower bloomes when it suits it, when the light is right and the time is ripe. What is a late bloomer, if not a person who has been delayed by other people's expectations of how they should unfold? What is a late bloomer if not a person who is expected to meet the expectations of others before they can set aside time to bloom themselves?

Elements in this piece use containers and clothing as a motif, and in line with Ursula K. Le Guin's essay The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, I am interested in the container as an overlooked and very basic technology. The container, jar or bag is among the very first technological inventions that have allowed humans to gather supplies, preserve and transport food, to keep the body warm and carry a child while picking berries – but it is always the sword or ax, the pointed object, which plays the lead role in narratives of our civilization. The seemstresses and the potters, the bag ladies and the bottle collectors are never heroes. My sculpture is a tribute to the technology of container and to the late bloomers of the world.