The Vivian Flower Show opened on the 5th March and will be closing on Sunday 10th April. It is a glorious show not to be missed. The gallery is full of art works that reflect the wonder of nature, so it is no coincidence then that I am in the gallery musing on fauna more specifically flowers.
Historicaly flowers have been depicted in art and objects across cultures and continents they link humanity together in a shared wonder and awe of our natural world. As a child visiting galleries in Europe I was mesmerised by Dutch floral still life paintings, all huge, dark and moody bordered by enormous gold gilt frames. In complete contrast I love the quite beauty of watercolors painted directly from life. Detailed botanical sketches of flowers and plants a wash of soft blushes of colour. My head conjures up the colours and textural qualities of the impressionist paintings, the exquisite light. Art has long reflected a fascination with nature and always flowers and flora. Andy Warhol explored flowers and many other themes drawn directly from nature in both his Pop Art prints and his lesser-known botanical drawings and Roy Lichtenstein screen-printed cartoonish water lilies on stainless steel. Jennifer Steinkamp digitally projected strands of blossoms across walls to magically transform an interior.
And the artists Ai Weiwei piled millions of sculpted and painted porcelain sunflower seeds for an austere installation. Each is a testament to the flower's perennial appeal.
I have just watched this short doco, and it is a real treat. O’Keeffe lived and breathed her love of flowers and the incredible landscape that she chose to live in.
Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life in Art
Short documentary about American Artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)
Much closer to home the Vivian Gallery exhibits New Zealand born artist and Warkworth resident Janette Cervin who completed her Masters degree in 2013 ‘Flowers in a Contemporary Art Practice’. Janette’s MA project originated from a cornucopia of personal experiences that undeniably informed a perspective shaped by a life growing up surrounded by flowers.
Cervin was a finalist in the 2012 and 2013 Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Awards, a finalist in the 2011 and 2012 Waitakere Art Awards (winning the ‘Still Life’ category of the 2011 competition, and top painting award 2013) a finalist in the 2012 and 2013 Waikato Art Awards (winning the People’s Choice award both years) and Sponsors Choice at the Ennor Glaistor Awards 2014.
Janette’s beautiful works can be viewed on the Vivian website and in our stockroom.