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Ever Met an 'Ugly' Flower?

Ever Met an 'Ugly' Flower? is the winning proposal for the Push/Pull Open Call at Archives at NCBS. The exhibition was launched on March 28, 2023 with a performative song, Unfolding Flowers, by Avril Stormy Unger.

Through themes of capitalism, colonisation, language and research, the exhibition explores gender, sexuality, botany and labour through the anchor of a flower.

Conceptualised by Komal Jain and detailed researched, curated and developed with Anoushka Mathews, Bhanu Prakash, Shafali Jain, and Ranjini Prasad.




National Centre for Biological Sciences


March 2023 - January 2024

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The exhibition was launched on a warm spring Sunday in the amphitheatre of Archives at NCBS. We had a picnic and opening performance by the artist, Avril Stormy Unger. 

Based on her experiences and reflections, Avril performed Unfolding Flowers in front of an audience of 120+ visitors.

"Unique Concept with extraordinary creativity. It attracts beautiful souls of the universe as flowers attract every one."

"I am leaving not only with new perspective on flowers, but reflecting on myself and the society."


"The exhibition was described to me as sapphic lol. And what could be more sapphic than flowers - the gendered beauty of it, love of/for it."

"Finally excited to see queer representation on campus!"

"No flower is Ugly :)"

"A beautiful journey of 3 days and mid way I realised that this may be the first and last chance to grace my eyes with the beauty of intelligence. I took it all in as much as I could. These memories and these people are forever archived in my neurons."

In Words We Flower

Language and society sometimes hold a reciprocal relationship in a tangled web of meanings, metaphors and expectations. By influencing each other, they ‘blossom’ and ‘wither’ the identities of individuals.


Collected over two years, the floral lexicologist scrapbook in this installation derives its stories from friends and family, modern day language and secondary research conducted on literature and botanical taxonomy. Feel free to share any stories that come to your mind while reading these.