In researching Dutch still lives I came across some wonderful Vanitas painted in the early 1700's by Herman Henstenburgh (1667-1726). He painted in watercolour on velum which gives the flowers surrounding the strangely smiling skull, a wonderful luminosity. (See first photo below, provenance unknown). My reinterpretation of the Vanitas, in reclaimed needlework, is the first in a series of 'cornucopia' works planned for my next solo exhibition with Gould Galleries in 2015. On a recent trip to my mother's home in regional Victoria, I found some exquisite needlework including Chinese silk embroidered birds with tree and sunset and cross-stitched hummingbirds with honeysuckle. These are being incorporated, along with other pieces from my collection, into the floral arrangement adorning the skull. On my return to the studio I backed the fragile pieces with Vlisofix and silk to stabilise them for extraction. They were initially pinned directly to the wall of my studio while I worked out their arrangement. The first in the series reminded me of the floral bathing caps my mother's generation wore to keep their hair dry whilst swimming, hense my working title, 'The Bather 2014'. My original plan was to model the skull in lace, to more closely reinterpret Henstenburgh's painting, but further work on the piece has resulted in the flora defining the skull as an outline only. There is a sense that the flora is creating the drawing and I like the reference the 'drawing' has to tattoo imagery. I have also begun two other Vanitas pieces - one filled with birds and flowers Vanitas #2 - The Twitcher and the other filled with motifs referencing childhood and children's stories, Vanitas #3 - The Storyteller (in progress). Footnote: I'm very pleased that Vanitas #1 has been published in Portugal, even before it's been exhibited. An online Music Magazine "Satelite" contacted me for an image to accompany their article on Vanitas and their publishing an image by Henstenburgh.