Ben Zuhlcke
Ginger Up cafe and juice bar, 449 Smithdown Road
26th May - 15th July 2006

Reviewed by Amanda DeAngeles

I tipped myself into the juicy sanctuary expecting similar to Ben’s recent exhibition in Patrick’s bar (scantily clad, big man portraiture). I was wrong.

No rant about “inappropriate” art displayed in cafés and restaurants, instead, a quick scan of the fruity-coloured café revealed large images of small flowers!

  1. A buttercup, shot from beneath, the flower is enlarged and transparent enough to view its pollen-bearing stamen through delicate yellow petals.
  2. An enlarged exposure of a white blossom: the flower revealed intricate detail of dark pollen with rounded tips. Almost a negative image of snowfall.
  3. A corrugated rusty drum is tinged with moss, which features amid lush greenery. All leaves, no visible blooms.
  4. White blossom concentrating on pollen stem tips.
  5. A tiny lilac flower, slightly distorted.
  6. A geranium: petals show their veins in a love-heart, vibrant-pink form.
  7. Six purple petals with a bulbous, grape-like centre. Lilac pollen shoots are capped with yellow pollen, furry caterpillars. Symmetry in nature features.
  8. A white flower. The yellow pollen looks like it could be a hearty, three-course-lunch for a bee.
  9. Tenuously linked: black tadpoles in a murky, ginger-coloured pond. A slight reflection of the sky and leaves above on the water surface form a letter ‘r’. Ah, indeed.
  10. A duplicate of the pink geranium, marginally off-centre.
  11. The white blossom, but with a seemingly unnatural backdrop.
  12. Green clusters of stars: all leaves, no flowers. This shows density, shadow and light and extreme beauty. I can smell the vivid green of nature.
  13. A collector of the “three-course lunch” looks like it may burp. Umbrella white flowers are offset against the sharp, rogue character of the bee or wasp.
  14. A white bellflower with green, slicing-tall leaves is displayed. This looks like it belongs on the IKEA brigade’s lounge walls.
  15. The flowers are plum-coloured and shrivelled. My gaze pans to southeast. An accompaniment for the next . . .
  16. The same flower displaying exquisite reds, plums and pinks on its petals in a rounded block-mosaic pattern. The central green stem isn’t as sharp as the other colours.
  17. Tall stems are topped with purple clusters, perfectly contrasting against blue sky. The flowers are to the right-hand-side of the frame.
  18. Three yellow flowers bow like suns. Ben has shown the perfection of form and vibrancy here.
  19. Six stems in desperate need of deadheading. The brown, curled- over, once flowers are set against a white background, which is topped by blending blue. Hopeful new growth is emerging.
  20. A green woodland snapshot. Maybe this was the route, woodland-adventurer, Ben Zuhlcke took? I hope his legs were covered (looks like he wandered through some stinging nettles to peer into the pond).
  21. Some images were off-centre and the background often blurred. This was a study to enlarge small nature. To anyone who visits the exhibition, I say:

‘Pay grand attention to the smallest detail.’

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