Sunday, 28 June 2020

Mongolia Dandelion Postage Stamp (another one)

Here is another of my Dandelion Stamps in the archive. Issued in 1985, it's another one from Mongolia and has the latin name Taraxacum officinale on it. Again, I can't find the artist's name. Mongolia seem to like dandelions on stamps - this is one of three different ones i've found so far. 
I can feel a trip to Mongolia coming on.... (when coronavirus allows etc).

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Mongolia Dandelion Postage Stamp

I've put a few postage stamps with Dandelions on this blog before - ones from Germany, Ireland, Estonia, Poland and Iceland. 
I've continued to collect stamps with Dandelions for the archive and this one here is one of my favourites, mainly because of the triangular shape. Issued in Mongolia in 1973 it shows a lovely image of Taraxacum mongolicum. I can't find much information on the stamp, the artist for example, but i'll keep looking. The stamp is from a series on wild flowers.
I did find that Taraxacum mongolicum has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for a long time with it's mineral elements being very rich.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Albrecht Dürer's Dandelion

I visited Vienna in November last year and while wandering around the city I saw this building wrap showing perhaps one of the most famous dandelions in the art world. Advertising an exhibition at the Albertina Museum it shows Albrecht Dürer's watercolour The Great Piece of Turf painted in 1503.  With so many amazing museums in Vienna, I didn't go to the Albertina this time (I have been years ago and saw the painting then), but i was very glad to see it reproduced so big for all to enjoy. 
I wonder what they did with the building wrap? That would be a great addition to the Dandelion Archive...

Dandelion fields

We are currently in a semi lockdown here because of the coronavirus pandemic (I say 'semi' because we are allowed to go out for exercise, shopping, getting medical prescriptions and, it would seem by the amount of traffic on the roads, pretty much anything else too). 
So, for the last 6 weeks I have only been able to walk locally for my daily exercise. Although I only have a tiny back yard I'm lucky where I live as it's situated on the edge of the city, near a river and where there are a good number of walks where you don't see too many other people.
Yesterday evening we went for a walk in the fields at the back of the house. The birds were beginning their evening song and the smell of the new hawthorn blossom was warm and strong. And the best sight of all was a field of dandelions looking so beautiful in the soft evening light, the many seed heads aglow in the sunshine. An uplifting sight in these times of isolation and uncertainty. 

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Dandelionfest on Wildflower Hour

It's #Dandelionfest this week on Wildflowerhour on Sunday 19th April 2020
Go to @wildflower_hour on Twitter to post your photos of dandelions and if you need help to identify some of the micro species.
Great idea!

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Dandelion Jumpsuit

I know i've not updated the Dandelion Blog in ages, but it doesn't mean i'm not still collecting information about them or items for the archive, i've just been incredibly busy.
So, i'm going to try and make more of an effort to do more blog posts this year... starting with a snapshot I took last year in a NY gallery of a woman in a jumpsuit with a rather gorgeous dandelion design all over it. Fabulous darling!

Monday, 30 September 2019

Ruskin: Museum of the Near Future

One of my screen prints of dandelion leaves is on show in a very beautiful exhibition:

Ruskin: Museum of the Near Future is on show at the Ruskin Library, Museum and Research Centre based at Lancaster University. The exhibition runs until 25 November 2019 and is open to the public every week day 10am - 4pm.

I'm delighted my print, A Week of Dandelions, is included - it's displayed on a wall in the gallery surrounded by drawings and sketches by John Ruskin (1819 - 1900). The Ruskin Museum, based in Coniston, describes Ruskin as 

"Artist, critic, pundit on aesthetics and ethics, thinker, seer, this social revolutionary challenged the moral foundations of Victorian Britain."

Ruskin Library website

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Bernard Leach Dandelion

I have work in an exhibition in Cornwall at the moment and while visiting last month I went to the Leach Pottery in St Ives. It's a really wonderful museum, studio and gallery and i've always wanted to visit.
On our way out of the museum, in the porch on the floor are two tiles decorated by Leach with dandelions! It was my friend who pointed them out, i would have missed them otherwise. The woman working in the shop cleaned them up for me so I could take photos. Here is one of the tiles - how beautiful it is.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Flight of Dandelion seeds study in Nature

There's a really great article published in Nature this week about the work of scientists who have worked out how dandelion seeds fly. Until now researchers thought that an unattached vortex would be too unstable to persist in nature, however they have found that the seeds of the dandelion use vortices that materialise just above their surface, lifting the seed into the air. The humble dandelion can still teach us exciting things. Amazing!

Read the full article here:

Friday, 5 October 2018

Rustic Oracles ending 7th October

My archive intervention Dandelions: Rustic Oracles at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library in Preston finishes on 7th October 2018 - so you only have a few days left to see it.
Within the displays and galleries I have placed dandelion objects, artworks and books for you to find. Ceramics, prints, embroideries and food items are all included in the exhibition and have been selected from the Harris Museum collection, or on loan from my Dandelion Archive.
Here is one of the items on display: a red dress embroidered with dandelions (in red thread) and it's placed in the costume department.

Monday, 24 September 2018

17th & 18th Century Botany Books

Come and handle 17th and 18th century botany books from the Harris Museum collection in a free event open to all. You will get the chance to see some incredibly beautiful botany books up close and books that show dandelions. You will also get the chance to try and discover all the dandelion objects, books and artworks that have been placed within the collection and galleries for you to find.

The event at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library in Preston 
5.30 - 7.30 on Wednesday 26th September 2018 
and is FREE!!

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Dandelion Crayola

Look what I got!
I've known for a while that Crayola do a Dandelion crayon, but never managed to get my hands on one. However, I am currently in California and while browsing the stationary section in the supermarket I saw the different Crayola packs and opened a box to see. And what a gorgeous colour it is! It is named 'dandelion, diente de leon, pissenlit' and is in a pack of 24 crayons. 
The pack states " Made with solar power! Starting Spring 2010, solar panels provide enough power to make a BILLION crayons each year!"
When I return home the Dandelion crayon (along with the others) will go into the Dandelion Archive.

The Herball or Generall History of Plantes

One of the books selected for inclusion in my exhibition Dandelions: Rustic Oracles at the Harris Museum, is The Herball or Generall History of Plantes by John Gerard from 1636.  It is from the Dr Shepherd's Library Collection at the museum.

It is a large volume with absolutely beautiful illustrations throughout of different plants. It is currently on display in a cabinet in the reference library at the Harris Museum in Preston, and is of course open on the page listing dandelions.

The Herball will remain on display until the end of the exhibition on 7th October 2018.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Dandelion Tea and Coffee

Here are some more objects from my Dandelion Archive in the exhibition Dandelions: Rustic Oracles at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library in Preston.
Shown here are examples of dandelion tea and coffee and also a beautiful cup and saucer from Russia that have been placed in the display about Teetotallism. 
Teetotalism was first started in Preston and is the practice of total abstinence from alcohol. There is a display dedicated to the movement in the Harris Museum, so the dandelion tea, coffee and cup & saucer seemed to fit quite well.
The exhibition runs until 7th October 2018.

Dandelions at the Harris Museum

Here is one of the cabinets in my Dandelions: Rustic Oracles exhibition at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library. I spent time looking in their special collection of books in the library and chose a number of really beautiful books to go on display in the exhibition.
Alongside this book I have put a packet of dandelion seeds from China and also a box of weed killer (with an image of dandelions on the box), both from the Dandelion Archive.
What a contradictory relationship we have with this beautiful plant!
The exhibition runs until 7th October 2018

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Harris Museum Dandelions

My archive intervention at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library continues until 7th October 2018, so there is still plenty of time to go and discover all the dandelion related objects within the collection.
I have put dandelion items from my Dandelion Archive alongside items chosen from the Harris collection and also their library too. However, you have to discover them yourself by exploring the museum, as i've not detailed where each item is. You might not find them all...

A leaflet / poster has been produced and is available for free at the Museum. The image about shows the poster side. Go and collect one now!

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Dandelions at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Dandelions: Rustic Oracles, my archive intervention at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston starts today!
I have placed objects from my Dandelion Archive within the museum collection. They infiltrate nearly every department in the building, cropping up in sixteen different locations. Just like weeds.

I have also selected objects and books from the museum collection and displayed these too.

We are having a launch TODAY from 2 - 4pm 
Refreshments provided (dandelion and burdock drink, dandelion tea, and normal tea too)
All welcome

The exhibition runs until 7 October 2018

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Dandelions: Rustic Oracles

For the past few months I have been putting an exhibition together about dandelions. 

I was invited by the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library to look in their collection to see if I could find any representation of dandelions. I visited the museum archive a number of times and looked through paintings, prints, ceramics, books, and clothing and found a number of dandelions. How exciting!
I've been so busy recently I haven't had time to update the blog, but will in the next few weeks put details up of the items I found in the collection.
Alongside these items I have chosen objects from my Dandelion Archive to go on show too in the exhibition.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

First Dandelion of 2018

Here is an image of the first dandelion i've seen in flower in 2018.
I've been looking out for the first dandelion here in Preston for a while. It's been a cold few months and i've seen a couple of dandelions nearly ready to come out, but not fully. However, yesterday I was walking along the river and saw a few in full flower. Hoorah! They're back.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Dandelion Net Curtain

Staying with textiles (see blog posts below) I also have this net curtain in the Dandelion Archive. It's not the easiest thing to take clear photographs of, but you get the idea. It's got dandelion flower heads in seed and also a few seeds blowing around. There are no leaves, but are in amongst blades of grass.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Dandelion T-Shirt (another one)

The second t-shirt in the Dandelion Archive is this one I bought last year made by Insight, based in Australia. Unlike the t-shirt in the previous post, i haven't worn this one and probably never will as it's gone straight into the Archive. It's really lovely quality cotton.

Dandelion T-Shirt

This t-shirt possibly qualifies as the first object I bought with dandelions on. 
I bought it around 2005 ish from a lovely little shop here in Preston. The shop is no longer around, which is a shame. And the company who made the t-shirt 2Blame Clothing, also seems not to exist anymore. As i didn't have the Archive set up at that time, i didn't note the name of the shop or the date i bought it. 
I wore it lots, but not for a long time now, but it's safe in the Dandelion Archive.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Harris Museum and Art Gallery Dandelions

I spent a day last week in the archive at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library here in Preston.
I was looking for dandelions in their collection of books and prints. The trip was quite successful and I found images and information in a number of old botanical books, plus on a couple of old prints too. 

Here is an image of a dandelion plate in a copy of Curious Herbal by Elizabeth Blackwell published 1737-39. The full title of the book is "A Curious Herbal containing five hundred cuts of the most useful plants, which are now used in the practice of physick, to which is added a short description of ye plants and their common uses in physick"

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Moldova Dandelion Stamps / First Day Cover

More dandelion stamps!
It seems most countries have used a dandelion for their postage stamp designs and I found this one from Moldova issued in 2016. I got a first day cover and it's part of a set showing wildflowers: chicory, yarrow, annual everlasting (i had to look that up - we don't get it here naturally in UK), scented mayweed, balkan clary (again i had to look that up as we don't have it here) and of course a dandelion.
This first day cover is now in the Dandelion Archive.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Allergy Forecast

I found this yesterday on twitter - it's an accidental find as i wasn't especially looking. It is the allergy forecast for Southern Colorado with the headline "Now, weeds are at a high level! :/ "
Trees - None
Grasses - High
Weeds - Very High
Mold - Low

The background image is of dandelion seed heads, which is really unfair as they don't cause allergies. It's a common image to use, but as the seed head doesn't have any pollen you can't be allergic to it. Here is an interesting blog post explaining it :

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Pin Mail Dandelion Stamp

I found another postage stamp with a dandelion motif on the other day. It's from a German postal company Pin Mail and shows a dandelion seed head, stamp value 52 cents.
The Dandelion Archive has a few dandelion stamps from different countries: Iceland, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria and Polish. Please see posts from 2015 on the blog if you want more details.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Dandelion Seeds part 2

Talking about dandelion seeds... I received a packets of seeds the other week from a friend based in Berlin. She got them when she was working in China (she's a composer / musician). These Pu Gong Ying (dandelion in Chinese) are apparently 'High quality speeies'. The back of the packet is lovely with red and black Chinese text on pink and yellow blocks of colour. The packet is now in the Dandelion Archive along with the other packets mentioned in the blog post below.

Dandelion Seeds

Following on from the post below, I sent off for some packets of dandelion seeds to grow in my back yard: Taraxacum pseudoroseum and also a packet of Taraxacum rubifolium, both from Chiltern Seeds based in Oxfordshire. It's not especially the best time to plant them, but i'm going to have a go.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Taraxacum pseudoroseum

I've not updated the blog for a few weeks - even though i've got lots that can be added, but i've been so busy i've neglected it a while.
I was watching a gardening programme on the tv the other week and I spotted this fabulous dandelion Taraxacum pseudoroseum with pinkish and yellow flowers. I'm going to order some seeds to grow them in my back yard, although I might be a bit late for this season.
The image is of the tv screen - hence the odd lines across it.

Friday, 21 April 2017

SF Dandelion Mural

I was in San Francisco the other day exploring the streets, taking in the sights and generally having a great time. While on the 9 mile wander I saw this mural on a wall in the city with a girl blowing on dandelion clocks. It's by artists Lady Mags and Amanda Lynn and according to their blog it took only 5 days to paint. The full artwork is much bigger - this image only shows one end of the piece. It's on 8th Street between Mission and Market streets.
Amanda Lynn blog

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Desert Dandelion

I am currently in California for 2 months on an art residency at Montalvo Arts Centre and i've been looking at changes in climate and the effects of extreme weather. While here i've had the opportunity to travel to see how different ecologies are changing or being managed etc. One of my trips took me to Death Valley National Park - the most incredible landscape, harsh, stark and very beautiful. While there I was thrilled to see desert dandelion Malacothrix glabrata. Native to the western United States it's in the Asteraceae family and although quite different to the dandelions this blog is dedicated to, i'm happy to include it.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Poor Dandelion

A couple of months ago i was contacted by Dr Lena Struwe, an associate professor and the director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University in the USA. She had found my blog while researching weeds and the symbolism of dandelions in contemporary popular culture. We have emailed a couple of times and she's written details about her research looking at the evolutionary biology of weeds - it's fascinating. Lena also sent a few items for the Dandelion Archive: the image here shows an advert from a magazine.

The poor dandelion! Being used as a metaphor for cancer. The unwanted weed in an otherwise perfect lawn. "The challenge is to identify and attack the genetic flaws of each cancer". I suppose as a marketing idea it's saying what the company intended - but it isn't helping the negative reputation the dandelion continues to have.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Arthur Hughes Dandelion

I've been so busy this last 6 weeks i haven't had time to put anything new on the blog. 
Anyway, here is another dandelion I found in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (see post below) earlier this year.
Home from Sea is by Arthur Hughes and is oil on panel. The landscape was begun in 1856 in Chingford churchyard and the painting was first exhibited in 1857 as The Mother's Grave. Hughes altered the painting in 1862 by adding the sister figure. There are a few small dandelions, both in flower and seed, at the bottom of the painting in the grass. The label for the painting says: 'The details reinforce the pathos of the subject, so that the ephemeral nature of the spider's webs, dew drops, dog roses and dandelion seeds emphasise the theme of transience.'

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Frederick Sandys Dandelion

I was in Oxford last week and had some time to visit the Ashmolean Museum: a wonderful place with fantastic collections and it's free to enter.
I saw a few dandelions in the collection and got some photos for the blog. This painting Gentle Spring was painted by the English Pre-Raphaelite Frederick Sandys.
Painted in oils, it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1865. The figure represents Proserpina on her annual return to earth from the land of the dead in springtime. Lots of flowers are depicted in the painting: snowdrops, crocuses, anemones, violets, poppies and dandelions. The dandelions are in seed and are on the lower left of the painting.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Tereska Shepherd Dandelion

I have a Canadian friend living in Toronto and she sent me this beautiful card the other day - she knows I collect dandelion objects for the archive and she has contributed information and objects in the past too. 
This beautiful card 'Dandelion Taraxacum officinale' is from an original watercolour by artist Tereska Shepherd (website The card has now been added to the Dandelion Archive.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Dandelion Killers

I am still here in California on a residency. We're in a heatwave at the moment - it's far too hot!
I was in the hardware store the other day and noticed these weedkillers. There was a whole shelf full and most of them had dandelion images on the label as an example of which weeds the chemicals can kill.
I have also had two meals here containing dandelion leaves in salads. It seems a bit bonkers there's a whole industry dedicated to killing dandelions when you could just harvest and eat them.

Friday, 16 September 2016

NASA Dandelion!

I'm currently on a one month residency at Montalvo Arts Centre in California. It's a wonderful place nestled in woods near Saratoga, about an hour from San Francisco. 
California is in a drought at the moment and everything is dry and dusty, however i have found a few dandelions on and near the lawn in front of the Villa at Montalvo, so they are surviving here. 
A few of us from the residency were invited to go to NASA in Silicone Valley the other day - how exciting!! And, under a tree beside the road on the NASA site were a number of dandelions - so i collected a few leaves for the archive (of course i did). A great moment from a great trip.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

M&S Dandelion part 2

Look what I was given! (See post below)
I went to request the display showing dandelions from the M&S store in Preston - and they let me have it for the Dandelion Archive - brill. I went to collect it the other day - it's massive and is made up of 4 long panels. There's dandelions on 3 of the panels plus they gave me the 3D dandelion leaf too. These are the biggest objects in the archive

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Marks & Spencer Dandelion display

I was walking down the high street in Preston the other day and I spotted this window display at the Marks & Spencer store. Showing their range of new uniforms for school children, they have also used large tins of paint and a few drawn plants in the background - a couple in b&w, a couple in colour and i was delighted to see they are dandelions! There is also a giant dandelion leaf. They are beautifully drawn and i'm going to try and find the artists name if i can. I was really happy I had my camera on me too so I could get a few shots.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

UCLan Dandelions

It was graduation week at the University of Central Lancashire earlier this month and I noticed the university used the design of dandelions on their printed material and online. I like graduation week: Preston is full of students in their gowns and caps and proud families all dressed in their best outfits and everyone seems really happy.
I got this image from their twitter feed and it uses the dandelion in seed presumably to represent wishes coming true.