On Now
Coming Soon
Past Display
Jessica Page: Dandelion
Nov 12, 2022
Feb 26, 2023
permanent exhibition
This summer we reveal 'Dandelion', a stunning installation work in the Ground Floor Sculpture Atrium by artist Jessica Page.

Originally created in 2003 and twice exhibited before it went into private ownership, the work resurfaced in 2018 when it was donated to the Gallery and has since undergone two years of painstaking restoration by the artist.

Children and adults alike will be spellbound by the work, which incorporates found materials (in the antique stool, now the pin cushion / dandelion head), as well as careful stitching and textile construction—not to mention a smattering of fairy dust—to bring the whole creation to life. Here Jessica shares the story behind Dandelion.

I began making Dandelion about 20 years ago, I think. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was around the same time that I started field work as an entomologist (the study of insects). The work involved a lot of travel and in fact much of the making of this piece was done in the car as we took turns driving the long distances to visit farms around regional Victoria, including many trips to potato crops in Gippsland.

Dandelion was first shown in 2003 at 45 Downstairs, an art gallery in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, and again in 2005 at [MARS] Gallery in Port Melbourne, where it was sold to a private collector. It was then donated to Gippsland Art Gallery in 2018 after suffering water damage, and the collector not knowing what to do with it. It was eventually returned to me in 2020 for conservation and repair. With parts remade anew, it is now back with Gippsland Art Gallery where it will be shown again this summer for the first time in seventeen years.

The idea for Dandelion was inspired by an ongoing fascination with the melancholy beauty of degraded landscapes.

The debris on roadside edges, abandoned paddocks full of thistles, weeds growing through cracks, plastic caught on barbed wire fences, all of these images evoke a sense of loneliness that I cannot find words for. They are abandoned and neglected places where only the toughest and most resilient can survive, but these are the subjects of other work. Of all the plants considered weeds in these landscapes it is the dandelions that stand out as being irresistibly playful. They lull children (and adults) into spreading their seeds to tell the time and blowing a perfectly formed ball and watching the seeds tumble and dance through the air is a universal joy; and that is what this work is about. My hope is that Dandelion is a reminder of the beauty and pleasure that can be found in the simple things that are all around us if we stop for a moment and allow ourselves to see them.

Selected Artworks
Jessica PAGE
Mixed media.
Dimensions variable
Collection Gippsland Art Gallery. Donated by Andy Dinan, 2018.
The artist.
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