Fiona Hall – Paradisus Terrestris

As I begin this process of design and iteration, I have begun to research different artists who might bring some form of inspiration to this work. This does not necessarily mean to say artists who are laser cutting into leaves and bark, but instead, artists from whom I can draw aesthetic inspiration and ideas from.

One artist who I have been inspired by is Fiona Hall, and her work Paradisus Terrestris. Paradisus Terrestris is a series of fifteen sardine cans, transformed from the mundane material of contemporary consumption into refined aesthetic objects. Working with sardine cans, she finely carves, engraves and embosses botanical representations of native flora in contrast with human erogenous zones or body-parts.

[Image Source]

As outlined in a case study by Willis from the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, “at the centre of Fiona Hall’s work is the connection between nature and culture”. “Her art encourages us to look beyond its rich surfaces and creative intricacy to discover greater meaning in her statements about our world. She is also concerned with the state of the world and our need to take responsibility. Her artworks therefore often carry strong social and political messages.”

The botanical nature of these pieces is definitely something that I wish to explore further. I really enjoy the intricate details included in this work, and will continue to looks at ways I can bring some of these aspects into my own project.

And as Jason Smith from the National Gallery of Victoria explains, “Hall also uses the juxtaposition of the human body and native flora to imply a collision between Culture and Nature” (2014). When I saw this artwork in person last year, from an immersive point of view in the execution of the artwork, I also appreciate the way the tiny intricate detail of the artwork forces the viewer to get very close to the piece and inspect it carefully, therefore causing a greater consideration and contemplation of the meaning.


Smith, J 2014, Paradisus Terrestris entitiled, National Gallery of Victoria, web post, 4 June , viewed 15 August 2019, <>.

Willis, H 2012, EDUCATION RESOURCE KIT A CASE STUDY: Fiona Hall, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, online case study, viewed 14 August 2019, <>.

Published by susiealdermann

Fifth Year Bachelor of Communications and Media/ Bachelor of International Studies (Dean's Scholar) student

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