(Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Mildendranthema Grandeflorum, 2008, (detail), mixed media installation – steel, fabric, plastic, acrylic paint, glue)
Born in Jamaica and raised in Miami, artist Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow says of her work, “…Ultimately, my work may read as sensual, romanticized and idiosyncratic versions of the feminine perspective. Surprise transformations seem to be a common link in my work from sculptures to videos, to performances. I wish to portray an ambiguous relationship between fantasy and reality while questioning the subject, the object and the interplay between the two.”
Lyn-Kee-Chow’s latest performative project, Mildendranthema Grandeflorum, combines photography, video, sculpture and installation. The work follows the protagonist, the “flower thief’ as she fiends to satisfy her unquenchable thirst for flowers. Her journey takes viewers through the landscapes of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, the White House’s Rose Garden in Washington D.C., and Queens, New York. Inspired and influenced by Lyn-Kee-Chow’s grandmother, a prize winning horticulturist, Caribbean folklore and legends, and a preference for work that is beyond catergorization, Mildendranthema Grandeflorum is a captivating example of contemporary Caribbean art in a global context. At a moment when politics are looking a lot like Disneyland (i.e. Sarah Palin) and the diversity of the feminine experience is at center stage (i.e. Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton), Lyn-Kee-Chow’s out of the box questioning of the blurred interplay between fantasy and reality, from a feminine perspective, is quite timely. However, her use of flowers and landscape also speaks to a timeless global folklore on the divine feminine’s dominion over the earth, and her/its capacity to create, protect and destroy.
View photographs from the project or watch a video clip.
Mildendranthema Grandeflorum is currently on view at Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center.