The Artists

Jane Pepper

My background is in the sciences and I have a particular interest in Natural History. My work in this exhibition is a response to D.H. Lawrence’s own love of nature, his study and teaching of botany, and his use of nature symbols to convey ideas about relationships between men and women, and about our place in the Universe.

In the Botany series I use digital collage to develop a series of ‘feasible forms’ to which I apply conventions of Natural History classification and display. Gender assignments, based on structural characteristics, allude to Lawrence’s exploration of male and female differences, as illustrated for example by hazel and willow catkins in the elementary botany lesson of Chapter 3 of ‘Women in Love’:

…red little spiky stigmas of the female flower, dangling yellow male catkin, yellow pollen flying from one to the other.

In Moonflowers I reference Lawrence’s use of flower imagery to represent femaleness, and of the moon as a symbol of female self-sufficiency. For example in Chapter 1 of ‘Sons and Lovers’, Mrs Morel is locked out by her drunken husband, but becomes calm and absorbed by the moonlit garden:

The moon was high and magnificent in the August night. Mrs Morell….shivered to find herself out there in the great, white light, that fell cold on her…The tall white lilies were reeling in the moonlight….She touched the big, pallid flowers on their petals….hesitating at the white rosebush….She touched the white ruffles of the roses.

In the Wallpaper series I have used digital cloning to repeat and scale my ‘feasible forms’ into decorative wallpaper formats, which allude both to the domestic context of the marital and maternal relationships with which Lawrence was concerned, but also to his ideas about the ‘larger pattern’ – the interrelatedness of nature from the smallest cell to the greater Cosmos.

Visit to see more of my work.