An enduring love of the natural world, with a focus on the home garden, is evident in Barbara Hanrahan’s practice. She explores intimate and entangled relations between humans, plants and animals that speak of care for the environment and its inhabitants, as well as the fragility of life. Here, figures are depicted either holding or surrounded by domestic animals - pets, such as cats, dogs and chickens - while birds act as guardians and perch in nests of hair instead of tree branches. Insect fauna including honeybees, butterflies, and dragonflies swarm Earth mother-like characters that embrace and nurture the abundance of nature’s ecosystems. This rich interconnection provides a striking contrast to today’s rapidly declining populations of animal species and habitat loss as a result of anthropogenic climate change and agriculture. Other compositions depict naked women partially transformed into trees, moths and fish, or riding giant roosters, whereas children are situated within gardens that grow giant flora. Many works feature Hanrahan’s ubiquitous sunflower imagery, which reference the poem ‘Ah! Sun-flower’ by the English mystic, poet and artist William Blake (1757–1827). First published in his anthology Songs of experience (1794), the poem alludes to the weariness of mortality and the desire for ‘sweet’ timelessness in the afterlife. The fragility of existence is also conveyed through the metaphor of the ephemeral flower, where figures seem composed entirely of plant material: cottage garden blooms such as zinnia, poppies, star flowers and California fuchsia.