'Sarracenia Purpurea (Pitcher Plant)', Claude Heath

Painting with intricate dotted white line details on a black background

Acrylic on linen, 180 x 163cm, 2005

Artist's statement

Sarracenia Purpurea is the Latin description for the type of flowering plant known as a Pitcher Plant. It gets this name from the funnelled shape of its leaves, because they resemble the pitchers used for water and wine. The leaves are upturned to catch and hold rain water, and insects, to add to its diet. The plant looks like a dense set of intensely green, veined trumpets with curled and reddened lips, which fan out from the same spot on the ground.

The drawing was made in the hothouse of the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge, looking at the Pitcher Plant from several sides at once and drawing onto several upright surfaces at the same time. It was a way of making a three dimensional drawing. These surfaces slotted into each other, like the cardboard dividers that stop wine bottles from rattling together in bottle carriers. For this painting I have separated out the different layers of the drawing and removed the colours, replacing them with several types of shaped marks.


Claude Heath was born in London in 1964. He studied at King’s College London 1983-86. Group shows include Young British Artists VI Saatchi Gallery London 1996, Antechamber Whitechapel Art Gallery London 1997, Gegen den Strich/Another Line Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden 2004 and Anatomy Acts City Art Centre Edinburgh (touring) 2006-07. Solo shows include Claude Heath: Drawing from Sculpture HMI/Leeds City Art Gallery Leeds 1999, Paul Kasmin Gallery New York 2001, Kettle’s Yard Gallery Cambridge 2002, Fruehsorge/Galerie fur Zeichnung Berlin 2005 and Stichting Lokaal 01 Breda Netherlands 2006. Included in John Moores 20 1997 and John Moores 21 1999.