A Component of Garden of Diversity - Naturae paradiso diversitas
Denise R. Duarte
The initial seed for Garden of Diversity - Naturae paradiso diversitias was planted when I learned the botanical definition of the Perfect Flower: a flower containing both male and female parts. The most complex and luscious blooms are usually Perfect Flowers, such as the rose. Flowers are the most diverse living organism in physical form and plants have a correlated variated sexual reproduction morphology.
The message was clear and powerful; nature thrives on sexual and gender identity diversity. Nature is not defined by binary standards, which defy the potential and beauty of the human experience. As an artist, activist and lesbian who has dedicated her life to working on feminist and LGBTQ issues, I could not ignore nature’s message of diversity.
My work describes and contrasts the variety of botanical sexuality to humanity’s narrowly defined sexuality and gender. In the plant world, in nature, reproduction and gender are varied and often fluid. Some plants even change from male to female (and vice versa) over the plant’s lifetime.
The significance of this project is to reframe the dialogue regarding the true nature of sexuality and identity utilizing the botanical world as a metaphor. The issue of acceptance of all people with the eradication of homophobia and genderphobia is a timely and necessary contemporary endeavor.