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‘Stylized Flora’ solo exhibition

Waratah and the canister

Solo exhibition of still life works Stylized Flora open from 29th February 2020 at Deciduus Gallery, Tirau New Zealand.

There was a change in design in the 20th century, which impacted everyday life and ‘ordinary’ homes most thoroughly. Down to the very simple botanical designs on Tupperware’s ‘Harvest’ series, stylized botanicals became part of domestic imagery. Whilst mass-produced, these objects were, and are, of outstanding quality. It is these iconic botanicals that have influenced my own home decor. I am an avid peruser of second hand shops. There being no greater thrill than finding a mid century treasure amongst pre-loved wares. ‘Crown Lynn’ ceramics, or a plastic ‘Willow’ canister (such as pictured in ‘Waratahs and the canister’) are golden recoveries. ‘The new blue curtains’ referred to in the ‘Monstera’ painting were a ’Trademe’ purchase after I had scoured for months to find a solution for the lounge in my 1970’s house. I enjoy the layering of colour and pattern that items like these provide, and in turn contrast the abstracted floral patterns with that of actual plants. 

Still life as a painting genre imposes serious challenges in composition, which perhaps in turn, are compositional solutions that can influence the arrangement of objects in our homes. The depiction of real flowers and plants in these paintings are semi realist and also an abstraction. The focal plane is made slightly flat with objects largely being viewed square on, a step towards the stylized patterns on the tablecloths, curtains and objects. It is my hope that these small painting windows provide a feast of colour and pattern that can compliment the often more neutral and streamlined palettes and lines of our contemporary homes. It is my intention that like the collections in the paintings, the paintings themselves are best seen as part of a home.

Cambridge News 22nd February 2020
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