SEEING THE LINES

3 Mar 2022

27 Mar 2022

Karen Greenslade, Carolyn Currie, Vicki Mangan

Through its responses to the physical landscape and natural elements of the Banks Peninsula, Seeing the Lines reframes the region’s native taonga by foregrounding it in the local environment and the art of this exhibition. In this group show at Stoddart Cottage Gallery, Karen Greenslade, Carolyn Currie and Vic Mangan seek to counter plant blindness, when plants exist as a backdrop to our lives and art prioritises the human figure. The artists have moved their collaborative art practices away from purely decorative floral vistas, to an engagement with the less obviously aesthetically engaging endemic plants of the place inhabited, reflecting the contemporary shift in concerns towards ecology and the local environment.

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Artists have a role in bringing the natural world to the foreground of human attention, refocusing engagements as we cease to be the owners or viewers, and become the companions. Representations of plants in much traditional botanical art depicted them as either a source of good – exotic, fertile, abundant – or as tempting or dangerous. These works often reflected dominant cultural values and concerns. For example, many early colonial works embodied the era’s European view that regarded nature as raw, brutal and requiring control and civilisation, and New Zealand plants unsuitable for a domestic garden. The mixed media and print works in Seeing the Lines - we protect what we know, we know what we see, challenge such limiting perspectives, drawing attention to both the richness of the natural landscapes and native flora of the Banks Peninsula, and the current threats to their existence.

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Karen Greenslade graduated from the University of Canterbury Ilam School of Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. Her works are predominantly abstract in mixed media and often employ handmade dyes, inks, paint, and paper, as well as charcoal, printmaking and collage.

Carolyn Currie graduated from Ara Institute of Canterbury in 2020 with a Bachelor of Design in Applied Visual Arts. Her work over recent years has explored natural boundaries and interventions on the Banks Peninsula using a range of printmaking practices: primarily drypoint, woodcut and monoprint, with linework being a key feature in her work.

Vicki Mangan is a 2020 University of Canterbury Ilam graduate with a BFA (Hons) in painting. Her practice uses a range of painting processes, including drypoint monotype printmaking to create ambiguous representations of the overlooked or unexpected.