Biophilia is our intuitive attraction to nature. Monet was far from alone in his fascination with the horticultural world. From moody Dutch still lifes to more gestural impressionist paintings, art has long reflected a fascination with flora. In this exhibition five artists convey their fervour for all the different botanical forms.
Nicki Manthel has a particular fascination for plants and flowers when they are past their prime, seeing beauty and pathos in the fading form. She paints large scale, giving her the freedom to paint expressively. Cathryn Ryan’s strands of blossoms across walls magically transform an interior. Cathryn lovingly seeks an amplified composition that reveals the sensuous qualities of imperfect beauty. Micky Light’s passion for nature stems from her English heritage. Her paintings evoke a sense of calm and nostalgia, sourcing inspiration from around her home and garden. Jenny Lee examines the flower as a recurring motif in contemporary art. Gus Leen explores the natural form in his innovative lighting designs using recycled native New Zealand timbers.
Each is a testament to natures’ perennial appeal.
Nature can seem messy and chaotic, however it’s a bounty of useable materials that can be infinitely organized and aestheticized. Although there’s a place in the art world for negative emotions or for shock, the objective here is to increase a love and appreciation for the aesthetics.
Unity is really an important part of the Biophilia theory. We are a part of nature so we find beauty in it, and not the other way around.
Visit Railway Street Gallery, from 1 - 20 February 2018. The space has been transformed into an atrium of gilded flowers and over-ripe foliage. Come in and find your own innate affinity with the natural world.