Gallery Talk

Wild Spaniards & Friends

08 November · Katrina
Wild Spaniards & Friends
(Detail) Giant Spaniard 2, soluble graphite, 2016

In this series of finely executed drawings and paintings, Christchurch artist Jan Chaffey draws on history, science and landscape to convey the remarkable nature of the native plants in our “inherited environment”, including Wild Spaniard or Aciphylla spps that plagued early stockmen.

In an eloquent revision of the tradition of botanical art, the works in Wild Spaniards & Friends are imbued with a delicate vitality, redolent of the wind-tossed, light-slashed landscape in which these species grow

Since graduating from Canterbury School of Fine Arts, Jan has combined her art practice with set design, working with the New Zealand Players Theatre Trust, and botany and landscape design, working at the Botany Division DSIR Lincoln and later tutoring in the School of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University.

Throughout and since her academic career, she has continued to draw inspiration for her art from her immediate environment at the entrance to Banks Peninsula.

“‘Taking our plants out of the literature’ means making my passion for botany accessible to others while providing a different perspective.  These drawings on Japanese paper show something of the vulnerability and fragility of nature” – Jan Chaffey, 2016

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