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For Vivian

May 24 - June 22, 2019

 
 
front gallery - installation view
 
 
front gallery - installation view - watercolours
 
 
Rhododendron (For Vivian)
 
Vivian Wiley could ‘talk’ to plants; she could will life into them. And they thrived. Standing at Zina Swanson’s Ghost Console, a table in Flemish glass with a page from “The Secret Life of Plants” upon it, we learn this of Vivian. Then it is easy to look up and marvel at a suite of four finely painted Swanson watercolours – leaf tones particularly eye-catching around frames of glasses with perhaps the artist’s eyes peering out.
 
installation view - Ghost Console
 
 
Ghost Console

The same tender admiration for things floral is treated sculpturally around the room. Swanson re-focuses our gaze. Painted terracotta eyewear is placed within rectangular p(l)anes of glass that lean against gallery walls. The look is wonderfully light and delicate. The bisque fired eye frames are life size and fine. The glass is body length too, inviting serious reflection. But as plinth or support for the glasses it is deliberately unobtrusive. Painted leaf forms and cords add critical visual weight. The works are named after their carefully painted leaves – simply Oak (For Vivian) or Mandevilla (For Vivian) for example. Their presence is exquisite and considered and enigmatic. And they just could be seriously chic portraits of Vivian.
 
Mandevilla (For Vivian)
        Oak (For Vivian)
 
In the back gallery the palette is softer, the watercolours beaming a sunny yellow and bearing titles like Sun Suit and Sun Eye, Sad Eye. Is Zina Swanson class monitor for global warming and climate change? Might the sculpture Sons sound a note of optimism? It is lyrical yet prickly – a visual and poetic peon to neglect and potentially, to graft. Pay attention people.
JS
 
back gallery - installation view
 
 
back gallery - installation view - watercolours
 
 
Sons
 
 

Details and selected works

Please hover over image to see title...

 


Mandevilla (For Vivian) - detail

 

Oak (For Vivian) - detail

 

Lemon Verbena (For Vivian) - detail

 

Vivian
        Seasonal Pyramid

 

Teary Flood
        Solo Blue

 

Eye Cloud
        Eye Pillow
 

Sun Seizure
       Sun Suit
 

Foe
       Sun Eye, Sad Eye
 
 
Who is she?
 
 
 
 

List of works

Oak (For Vivian), 2019
terracotta, watercolour, metal, glass       1800 x 460 x 380mm       $8000

Mandevilla (For Vivian), 2019
terracotta, watercolour, 9 carat gold, embroidery thread, glass
1800 x 460 x 380mm       $8000

Lemon Verbena (For Vivian), 2019
terracotta, watercolour, glass       1800 x 460 x 380mm       $8000

Rhododendron (For Vivian), 2019
terracotta, watercolour, 9 carat gold, branch       530 x 500mm       $7500

Ghost Console, 2019
Flemish glass, branch, oak leaves, terracotta, page from The Secret Life of Plants
660 x 1800 x 460mm         $9000

Sons, 2019
rose plants, paper, sculpey       530 x 500 x 120mm       $4500

Vivian, 2018
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Seasonal Pyramid, 2018      
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Solo Blue, 2018
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Teary Flood, 2017
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Who is she? 2018
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Eye Pillow, 2018
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Eye Cloud, 2018
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Sun Suit, 2018
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Sun Seizure, 2018
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Foe, 2018
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100

Sun Eye, Sad Eye, 2018
watercolour on paper       350 x 280mm framed       $2100
   
All prices include GST


The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of the Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Art Award at Ara

 

 

Friends of CAG talk
Zina Swanson talking about her exhibition to the Friends of the Christchurch Art Gallery