Anemones and Pomegranates

An exhibition by Lynne Cartlidge

This exhibition is a collection of paintings and prints loosely themed around two of my favourite subjects: Anemones and Pomegranates.

This exhibition runs until Monday 7th February at Waterloo Tea, Wyndham Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1FH.

I first began to enjoy Anemones when I was at St Ives School of Painting in 2014 and three paintings from that time are in this exhibition. I went on to grow anemones at my Cardiff allotment, finally raising a decent crop in 2015. I enjoyed painting these and they are available here as limited edition giclee prints.


In Ancient Greek mythology, pomegranates and anemones are connected. In ‘The Metamorphosis of Ovid’ the pomegranate was believed to have sprung from the blood of Adonis, who was the lover of the Goddess Venus.

In response to the death of her lover, Venus sprinkled nectar onto Adonis’s blood and created the anemone flower.

When from the heights she saw the lifeless body lying in its own blood, she leapt down, tearing her clothes, and tearing at her hair as well, and beat at her breasts with fierce hands, complaining to the fates. “And yet not everything is in your power” she said. “Adonis, there shall be an everlasting token of my grief, and every year an imitation of your death will complete a re-enactment of my mourning. But your blood will be changed into a flower…” So saying, she sprinkled the blood with odorous nectar: and, at the touch, it swelled up, as bubbles emerge in yellow mud. In less than an hour, a flower, of the colour of blood, was created such as pomegranates carry, that hide their seeds under a tough rind. But enjoyment of it is brief: for, lightly clinging, and too easily fallen, the winds deflower it, which are likewise responsible for its name, windflower: anemone’

Source: Tom Matrullo

Pomegranates are to this day of great significance in many countries. For the Greeks they still hold strong symbolic meanings. When one buys a new home, it is conventional for a house guest to bring as a first gift a pomegranate which is placed under/near the altar of the house, as a symbol of abundance, fertility and good luck. It is also traditional in Greece to break a pomegranate on the ground at weddings and on New Years.

Pomegranates are popular and symbolic in many different cultures. Another association comes from Tamil culture where the name for pomegranate: ‘maadulampazham’ is a metaphor for a woman’s mind. It is derived from maadhu= woman, ullam=mind, which means as the seeds are hidden, it is not easy to decipher a woman’s mind!