Opuntia Vulgaris

Image of Opuntia Vulgaris

12" x 14" unframed digital print (giclée)

The Opuntia Vulgaris print is an original artwork created using a mixed-media collage technique and is printed on museum-quality archival paper (Hahnemühle Photo Bright White Rag). Each print is personally signed by artist-designer Patricia Pastén.

The Flowers of the World collage series was inspired by botanical illustrations produced during the colonial natural-history expeditions during the Age of Discovery. British explorers-naturalists sailed to distant lands to collect plant specimens and categorize “new” species of flowers.

Without a further investigation into the specimens’ origins or ethnobotanical histories, they claimed and (re)named thousands of ancient and indigenous species from around the world introducing them to British society. The success of these expeditions led to the eventual creation of the Royal Horticultural Society, the African Association, the Royal Academy of Arts, and the Royal Society (of London for Improving Natural Knowledge).

The Age of Discovery and the colonial natural-history expeditions prepared
the ground for the extraction, exploitation, and colonization of the world’s natural resources.

Prompted by this, Patricia makes visual reference to the problematic history of these beautiful botanical illustrations by collaging together the named flower with other images of its local flora and fauna as well as esoteric symbols of lesser-known histories.