A Passion for Frida Kahlo
By now you must have noticed the beautiful collage design of Frida Kahlo on the cover of the invitation to the Robinson Gardens Tour. This year’s theme is “De Colores, The Art of Botanical Seduction” and an image of Frida Kahlo surrounded by flowers couldn’t be more fitting. A modernist artist from Mexico, Frida Kahlo’s connection to nature is well known. Christine McConnell is the artist who created the artwork. She lives in Australia and has a particular interest in Frida Kahlo. She has travelled extensively and her work in all mediums has been influenced by strong women.
Christine has kindly agreed to answer some questions about herself and her art so we could learn a little more about her:
1) What is it about Frida Kahlo that you admire?
I am inspired by the openness and honesty of Frida Kahlo’s original artworks and the passion she displayed in all aspects of her life. Yes, she suffered both physically and emotionally, but the majority of her days were spent doing the simple things of life. Going to the market, arranging flowers, cooking, being with friends, and painting. She laughed a lot. She was a joyous, passionate being. In a way, I feel that Frida is all women. When I’m using her as a model, I’m doing just that, using her to portray each of us. Hers is the wisdom of ‘woman.’ With belief in ourselves, we can lead a life that is authentic; a life that doesn’t accept guilt; a life that embraces strength, wisdom, and a connectedness to all beings.
2) What medium do you use to produce your work?
These days I work mainly in digital collage. I enjoy being able to work anywhere at anytime on my computer. Though digital work is no easier or faster than hands on work. An image can take days to complete.
3) What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
It’s funny but I don’t really see art as a career. It’s just something that I do because I enjoy it and doing it makes me feel calmer and happier. It’s like meditation to me as I’m lost in the moment.
4) Do you have a particular routine for your work?
No, I don’t have a particular routine for my work. Life is hectic and I think myself fortunate if I get a whole day to spend doing art work – mostly it’s a few hours here and there. Because I’m working with digital media I can do my work anywhere as long as it’s relatively quiet with few interruptions.
5) What other projects have you worked on?
In terms of my digital work, I’m fortunate to have sold to individuals in most countries of the world. I’ve also supplied images to a number of shops and restaurants to be used for advertising purposes. A major design store has recently purchased the rights to these images.
6) Which other artists do you admire?
Oh where do I start! There are so many talented artists out there and with the advent of online selling, it’s so easy to find fabulous artwork for a small price. Particular favorites at the moment are Mark Ryder and Sarah Hickey.
Christine McConnell’s exuberant artwork is the perfect image for this year’s tour. Her collage of Frida Kahlo with its riot of flowers and colors conveys the passion of gardeners and the joyous celebration of spring that are the hallmarks of every garden tour put on by Robinson Gardens. It promises a vibrant and joyous event this year! To purchase tickets go to: TICKETS! To learn more about Robinson Gardens and the Garden Tour, go to: www.robinsongardens.org.
Post by Sunday Taylor
Friends of Robinson member
Sunday Taylor writes the lifestyle/literary blog “Ciao Domenica” at ciaodomenica.blogspot.com
To see more of Christine McConnell’s work, go to her website at: www.artdecadence.etsy.com