Title “Flame Lily Gymea Lily”
Artist Tony Ameneiro
Medium Etching with aquatint – Three plate, three colour etching
Plate size 50cm x 40 cm
Sheet Size 79cm x 54cm
Edition Size 40
Price $880 ( Australian $ )
My interest in the Gymea Lily (Doryanthes excelsa) stems from a time when my family and I lived at Stanwell Tops at the Northern end of the Illawarra Escarpment, on the South Coast of New South Wales. This particular plant with its tall, striking flower spike is a dominant feature of the botanical landscape in the area. The early naturalists of the day even referring to it as the ‘Illawarra Lily’. It was of particular significance to the aboriginal people of the area both as a food source and as a symbol tied to their ancestral roots. The Gymea Lily became a symbol of place for me in my previous series titled ‘Location’, which explored the links between place and family, home and heritage. This plant still maintains a fascination for me even after having moved from the area. There is a unique appeal in the flower’s profusion of chaotic forms, its scarlet and violet hues, the leather-like finish of its flower segments. The height of the flower spike, sometimes at 2-4 metres, also required trundling through bush with ladders or scaling nearby trees for a close enough angle for drawing or photographs. This difficulty merely added to its appeal for me.
The etchings themselves are drawn ‘soft ground’ etchings. All the plates are based around the colour separation method arising from the digital-graphic method for separating colour using the ‘Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black’ (CMYK), only in this method the black was eliminated reducing to three the number of matrices required to draw each image ( hence the ‘CMY’). Much like drawing with red blue and yellow colour pencils the method aimed to create a sense of colour inherent in the original flowers but always mindful of the simplicity of the primary colours at work.
Printed on Hahnemuhle 350 gsm paper
Published by The John St Press