When one travels, the journey reveals mind maps of intangible lands and actual places, linking actual and sensorial landmarks into a new landscape. Imagined connections become real, allowing for crossing into territories of simultaneous ambiguity and clarity. Spaces of freedom unfold, inward and outward explorations. At the end, and far beyond the journey, memory proves to be a fragile net, holding no coherent experiences, but rather a collage of moments elected by one’s perception. Notions of interconnection, time and space alter into a realm of emotional reality. The ineffable identity of a place is what resonates within us and therefore becomes culture to us.
While the impermanence of time is immutable, I tell my story of places and journeys to contribute to the redrawing of contemporary maps of relevance, ready to navigate through new and changing layers of cultural identities.
My Botanical Journey articulates a dialogue between two mountainous ranges that presently experience a common faith in the questioning of their post coal mining identity: The Appalachian Mountains in the US and The Carpathian Mountains in Romania.
This project is rather a pilot of a larger, extensive, itinerant approach, and it’s proudly supported by Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) and the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), being developed in collaboration with Dr. John Akeroyd in 2023. It features artistic explorations of both botanical, scientific realities and personal emotional discoveries.
Put in an open dialogue, the two botanical realms – scientifically illustrated and spontaneously imagined, or remembered – talk about the resilience of plants, their adaptation and determination to become the new native, by conquering abandoned human intervention sites in a spontaneous, natural (dis)order that aim towards a new definition of balance. While the documentation collages and sketches hold on the childhood memory of discovery knowledge, in the larger patterns resembling architectural dwellings, child-like drawings of chalk and charcoal call out on the fragility, yet intuitive complexity of both nature and culture, in landscapes held together by what seem to become massive bodies of ignorance. Botanical illustration is here mostly a way of linking the tradition of expeditions and colonial selective classification of the plant realities with the present need of rewriting the missing history as an imperative for the collective memory.
The aim of expressing the identity of these cultural landscapes in terms of wild plants illustrates my core interest in investigating the implication of natural environment in shaping the cultural heritage.
Curatorial project for painting and graphics exhibition
The National Museum of Art România, together with the Romanian Society of Botanical Artists, founded and run by Irina Neacșu, organized on 12 April – 5 May, 2019 the painting exhibition Wild Flowers in Romania – o botanical history.
The exhibition borought together valuable works from MNAR heritage as well as works from the collection of the Botanical Garden Dimtrie Brândza, Bucharest.
Emblematic works of well known artistic trends, realized by Griogorescu, Andreescu, Satmari or Țuculescu were exhibited during this event.
There were exhibited both artistic works and works of scientific interest that together gave a new and fresh image on the wild flora of Romania, which is so beautiful and unique.
As a curator, Irina Neacșu , together with the art historian Christiana Diaconu, managed to highlight the importance of nature and the importance of protecting it through works of art.
Personal painting exhibition
The exhibition “ Life of bulbs” took place between 23 May – 10 June at the Botanical Garden “Dimitrie Brândză” of the University of Bucharest. The event proved to be a unique journey into the spectacular univers of garden flowers, brought to the public in the form of botanical illustrations.
The exihibition included 22 works in which the plants have been represented on a natural scale.
The role of the event was to restore to the public a forgotten art form which finds its first works dedicated to wild flowers at the beginning of the 20thcentury. Angiolina Santocono was the one who opened this tradition and the last five years will be marked by the Transylvania Florilegiumproject organized by Prince’s School of Tradiotional Artand Prince of Well’s Foundation Romania.
The exhibited works have highlighted concepts such as love, time, beauty or ephemerality, managing to arouse powerful emotions.
Such works become important as they maintain a tradition dedicated to nature and beauty.
The studio has been launched in Brasov in 2017, as a personal studio with a display area, buy also with a class room dedicated to drawing and painting courses. All workshops are being led by irina Neacsu and by invited lecturers, mostly in connection to botanical art and to the launching of the Romanian Society of Botanical Artists.