Through still life paintings of indigenous flowers, birds, and insects, Guthleben uses the traditions of vanitas and its messages of the transience of life to present a painted vernacular that spans humour, kitsch, and historical and environmental themes. She reinterprets the delicate floral masterpieces of Dutch Golden Age painting by amping up the colour and light in response to the Australian environment and emphasising the texture and diversity of indigenous flora in brushy impasto.