We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Sophie Dunlop Bromeliad forest

watercolour on paper

65.5 x 65.5 cm

I discovered bromeliads while visiting the tropics and have become fascinated by their very visible struggle for survival. Painting this subject has forced me to use watercolour in a different way; building up layers to create a feeling of shade and claustrophobic humidity. These plants adapt and grow in extraordinary ways. Many are epiphytes, meaning that they are able to grow in the air, high above ground level in the forest canopy in order to reach sunlight. They are not parasitic and collect their nutrients from organic litter while providing habitats for insects and frogs.

- Sophie Dunlop, 2016