Daphne was inspired by the Laurel tree in the Portland Botanical Gardens and the myth of Apollo and Daphne that has been interpreted widely in art and literature. According to myth, Daphne is transformed into a Laurel tree so she can escape the advances of Apollo. In the words of Andrew Marvell:
The Gods, that mortal Beauty chase,
Still in a Tree did end their race.
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that She might Laurel grow.
The Garden 1681
This myth is pertinent in a contemporary environmental context where recognition of our relationship with the natural world and the interconnectedness of all life forms underpin the development of solutions to current issues.
FLORA is a short film by Carmel Wallace and Colleen Hughson with music composed by Michael Wallace Flora is played by Ella Eade. Portland Victoria Australia 2015
Flora celebrates the richness and fecundity of nature, personified by a young woman wearing a cloak* made of flowers. The singular beauty of indigenous species is displaced by seductive mass plantings of exotic flora as introduced by successive boat people to these shores. Whilst we may question this displacement, the film presents a post-colonial view of harmonious co-habitation: the bees happily feast on the nectar of both indigenous and introduced flowers, and we as audience also enjoy the extravagant beauty of both.
*Titled Flowers for Gardens, this cloak was originally created by Carmel Wallace in 2013 for One River, a Centenary of Canberra project, supported by the ACT Government & the Australian Government, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, The Sidney Myer Fund and the Australia Council for the Arts.