N.Z Background
27 July to 16 August 2020

  1. Rogue red root runs down under
    acrylic on hessian
    2020
    1850 x 2430 mm
    $9,800
  2. Endangered species
    acrylic on hessian
    2020
    1850 x 2430 mm
    $9,800
  3. Cohabitation
    acrylic on hessian
    2020
    1850 x 2430 mm
    $9,800
  4. Bower
    acrylic on hessian
    2020
    1850 x 2430 mm
    $9,800
  5. Homie instinct
    acrylic on hessian
    2020
    1850 x 2430 mm
    $9,800
  6. The five paintings in the exhibition N.Z. Background, are all large scale , like murals or theatrical backdrops for the drama played out by the public entering the gallery space and putting themselves in the picture.

    The paintings are painted in the style of Verdure Tapestries. In the 17th century Europeans travelled to Asia and were influenced by the textiles, art, flora and fauna. On their return they depicted an exotic otherworld, romanticising and exaggerating the plant forms, buildings and landscapes.

    New Zealand plants may look commonplace to us but to a newcomer they could appear weird and exotic, the New Zealand bush a jungly dark otherworld.

    I also see the paintings as an interface between the New Zealand outside world and the interior. When they're placed in a room with windows, the outside landscape merges and coalesces with the inside and when the room has no windows (as in the gallery space) or in the inner city a green refuge is created.

    The first painting has prominent thistles relating to the Scots in New Zealand. Paintings two and five have only indigenous plants and birds, The third features a Kiwi fruit / Chinese Gooseberry vine entwined amongst natives trees, with lilies and Spoonbills in the foreground and the fourth painting has British weeds, birds and a cat. The plant landscape has come to represent the diversity of New Zealand today.

    An excerpt from Farid Ahmed's speech post the Christchurch Mosque killings, We are all different types of flowers but together we make a beautiful garden.

    Kerrie Hughes July 2020