La Bohème by Micky Light - exhibition of new paintings July/August 2021

Posted by Fiona Cable on

Bohemian style is synonymous with a counterculture associated with creativity, artistic expression, and a disregard for social norms and mainstream aesthetics. The origins of this mode of expression emerged in France after the French Revolution. The era saw many artists plunged into poverty as a result of being deprived of a former system of patronage. Out of necessity they wore second hand garments, dressing similarly to nomadic gypsies who had their origins in the Balkan area of Eastern Europe, in a region called Bohemia.

Boho style enjoyed a resurgence in Paris during the 1960s and continues to influence artistic circles and fashionistas today. Contemporary definitions still retain affiliations with unconventional standards of dress and behaviour, especially anyone who is involved in the arts. Generally laid back, Bohemians are highly expressive, free-spirited and indifferent to mainstream trends. They may also hold a romanticised view of the world and enjoy a wandering lifestyle.

Artist Micky Light unintentionally fits this characterisation perfectly. Light’s bohemian life began in Brighton, moving to Devon and later India - as one month sojourn living with Tibetan Monks in the Himalayas turned into twelve months. Eccentric and rebellious, she has always led an unconventional life.

Micky Light La Boheme original paintings

Upon moving to NZ in 1973, she lived for several years on a commune in Northland before establishing herself in Auckland. Light has been painting ever since, fitting it in between a busy midwifery career and raising a family. Now retired she has time to reflect upon her life. She paints, gardens and enjoys the magic of her private enclave in the aptly named Rose Road.

Seeing from a distance she still appreciates the rich colours, fabrics, flowers and antiques that have accompanied her along the way. This new body of work also reflects her love of nature and pays homage to old friends and artists who’ve inspired her. Her garden is filled with wild old English roses and chooks running hither. A winding path leads to an old shepherd’s hut, doubling as her painting shed. Drawing on memory and her current environs, a series of work is emerging, aptly named La Boheme.

“A burst of sunshine on a velvety rose petal or a little fantail’s nest so beautifully woven fills my days with wonder and joy.” ML

Exhibition opening Thursday 29 July, 5 – 8 pm
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