Athenie Leckey

Athenie Leckey-

Title : Banksia Caleyi I

Medium: Acrylic

Price : AUD 300

National Graphic 
1953
Volume CIII
Number One

About the artwork:

Banksia Caleyi is a hardy bushy shrub found in a small area in southern Western Australia. The red blooms are pendulous, supporting its common name of Red Lantern Banksia. The pendulous flower heads make this a very special type of banksia. There are only a few hanging banksias from the 79 species. The upside-down flower spikes drip nectar onto the ground or lower leaves, suggesting that pollination occurs by nonflying mammals, such as pygmy or honey possums, which are attracted to the scent. Banksia Caleyi flowers from late October to December.

This illustrative rendition of the Banksia Caleyi shows its striking long serrated green leaves protecting its smaller fragile flower heads and the extraordinary seed pods. The plants are killed in bushfire, which triggers the release of the seeds to start regeneration.

The Banksia Caleyi colours reflect the colours on the National Geographic Magazine page from Volume CIII Number 1, January 1953. The page depicts a flower show, of which St. Fiacre is the Patron of the Show, which influenced this floral painting.

Acrylic on Stretched Canvas 50x40cm.

About Athenie:

Athenie Leckey is an emerging Melbourne artist who mainly paints Australian native flora. Her current flora of choice are the many species of Banksias. There are 79 banksias of them described in the book ‘BANKSIAS’ by Collins, Collins & George. There’s nothing like a covid lockdown challenge! I am being distracted by some very pretty Banksia though and find that I am painting them more than once. It is going to take me just that bit longer to finish the list!

I create floral works to be surrounded by native blooms. I want them in my garden, my street, my vases, my paintings, my work. I admire the strength of the larger blooms, the wooded stems, the tough leaves, the robust flower head but closer inspection shows the soft downy edge of a petal, or a curled serrated edge of a leaf, or a seed pod that has burst to eject its seed to start the regeneration process again.

Athenie works with paper, ink, paint and mixed media on paper and canvas, collaging both digitally and manually, currently focusing on Australian flora in acrylics and learning portraiture in oils.