Isabel Molla

Oleanders in the Bedroom, 2020. Photocopy, coloring pencil, oleander leaves on rayon.

Lissome draws inspiration from floriography, or the association of meaning to flowers that has existed across cultural traditions. In the Victorian era specifically, flowers were used to communicate secret messages that violated the socially accepted etiquette of the time; confessions of desire, love, heartbreak, and an array of other emotions were attributed to different plants, flowers, and herbs and popularized through the publication of flower dictionaries. Internal worlds of feeling, and their oftentimes unspoken nature, set the foundation for this project. Made during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent mass social shutdown, these mixed-media fabric pieces are a creative response to a lack of resources. The images directly utilize their natural surroundings, pairing fabric transfers of photographs and prints with plant-life that has been hammered into the material itself.

In Lissome, the plants of my childhood and their associated meanings form the backdrop for anunsettled tension between beauty and decay, a coded confession of hidden illness.


Slow Decay in Red, 2020.
Photopolymer print, bougainvillea, dead leaves on rayon.

The Ritual of Neglect, 2020. Photopolymer print, coloring pencil, ink, orange peel/leaves on rayon.

The Garden, 2020.
Photocopy on rayon.

All rights reserved, 2020.