The Stolen Flowers of Auckland
These new works by J M Henderson all incorporate collaged flowers. Some of these are native, some are imports, one man’s weed is another man’s bouquet. They can be wanted, unwanted, poisonous, hallucinogenic, cultivated or self-seeded, but they all have beauty. There are of course contemporary parallels that could be drawn.
The flowers used have been “borrowed”, picked, plucked and experimented on over the last three years and appear in these works in various states of decay. From fully vibrant beauty to semi-decayed but delicate, the veins and tendrils still apparent despite the ageing and the application of paint. Learning what happens when each flower was dried, pressed and manipulated was part of the journey.
In these works paint is applied very precisely, it’s usually a delicate mapping of the collaged flowers. The circular works can appear to be spherical worlds of their own. The works can become according to the viewer, convex or concave. In some of the works eggshell makes an appearance. The viewers eye naturally moves around the busy pieces and yet the overall effect is restful and calming.
This show is of course an amalgam of what has come before. The artist has in the past painted very precise botanical work as well as sculpted and collaged. She has attended courses at Kew Gardens and at the V&A as well as with more contemporary New Zealand artists such as Wayne Youle and Sheyne Tuffery. She sees the current body of work as an extension of this journey, a combination of the elements and the disciplines that she has worked at and pursued over her career.
JM Henderson has always drawn, growing up she was one of those children who preferred to express herself through illustration. Over the years she has exhibited as an individual and in group shows in the UK, US and of course New Zealand, most recently in 2016 in a solo show in Wellington, which is where she lives and works.