Shyama Ruffell

“A cocktail of William Morris, Mackintosh and Rousseau in an English meadow, with a splash of Klimt and a squeeze of Jungle book.”

Jungles and exotic plant shapes capture me. My own eclectic garden has developed with a mixture of Banana plants,Tree ferns jostling for space next to Daises, St Johns Wort,Rhubarb, Palms,Yuccas and a huge Fatsia Japonica ( Castor oil plant ). From tall and tropical too small and delicate all intertwined along together in true jungle fashion .
Exploring the architectural shapes of cacti and desert flora is an exciting extension of this. The shapes are varied with every colour in the chart, these desert plants are a joy to examine. They are dry and prickly but at the same time lush and flush with bright blooms and pattern. I Interpret them with rich bold oil pastels and inks to define.
They sit along side the more English delicate studies of Honesty, Poppy seed heads and Cow parsley silhouettes. The common denominator being their structure and form.
With infinite leaf shapes and sizes, the full bodied cactus’s are a summer opposite to the bones of the winter seed heads and skeletal stems. Both seasons represented, opposites united with their anatomy and construction.Their almost abstract shapes creating positive and negatives.
Pattern is a constant for me its the connection with all of my work. Its like following a track or a trail. It’s an inclusive thread through nature from the exquisite and delicate markings on butterfly wings and insects to all forms of botanicals with their infinite variations.
I work in my garden studio amongst my own little urban jungle. My garden has little to no rules. Its survival of the fittest with nature taking its course, exhibiting and inspiring me with its eclectic uncultured ever changing displays.

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