Elsa Mora’s Strange and Beautiful Botanical Women

by Margot BuermannPosted on

In her series Femina Plantarum, Elsa Mora pulls from elements of the natural world to illustrate intimate journeys of personal evolution and transformation. Her paintings of female figures with root limbs, bird heads, and other human/nature hybrids are all at once entrancing, surreal, and provocative. Throughout the series, these creatures are caught in the midst of not only dramatic physical change but also introspective moments of intellectual and spiritual awakening. The artist portrays her botanical women from the viewpoint that change can be frightening and uncomfortable, but also a vital and even sacred part of human life.

Femina Plantarum was exhibited in 2012 at Pan American Art Projects in Miami. The artist wrote about her inspiration for the series on her blog: “Transformation is a bumpy ride full of obstacles. As Frederick Douglass said ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’ Based on this idea I felt the urge to create a series of works… that suggested growth and transformation. I think that growth has a lot to do with reaching into dark places and being brave enough to look at those places in the eye.”

Mora was born in Holguín, Cuba. Her work is exhibited at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC and is part of numerous private collections in Italy, Spain, France, Japan and the United States. She creates art in a variety of mediums from photography to drawing to paper sculpture. Discover more of her work through her Flickr account.

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