Who sits in the glasshouse

The project “Who sits in the glasshouse” is a collaboration with the Botanical Garden of Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz. When I started, I was sure that when I paint plants from the greenhouses, very “unique” pictures will be created. The particular appeal was of course the challenge of painting a new kind of scenery. Because these are no typical plant, landscape or, garden pictures. There is a surprising contrast between the delicate flowers and the technical elements of the greenhouses, such as glass, rusted iron, and tubes. Everything is crowded in the narrowest space, yet it remains poetic in some ways.

These paintings are like portraits of strange, sometimes bizarre, sometimes exotic and beautiful personalities. The plants from the greenhouses are strangers to us. Their features are unfamiliar to us.  Although we have known some of them already for a long time: coffee, ginger, cotton … but we have never met them face to face. They are sensitive, but their survival strategies do not benefit them here, they can only survive in the glasshouse. Nevertheless, they feel comfortable with us. Some grow over one hundred years old. Sometimes they are already extinct in their homeland, like the smallest water lily in the world from Guatemala.

It was a great pleasure for me to get to know and to portray these characters.

Julia Belot