Mansfield's passions inspire exhibition

Last updated 05:00 15/11/2012
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CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ

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Katherine Mansfield's love of nature and flowers is reflected throughout her stories, letters and journals.

That affection for the natural world has been used as inspiration for an exhibition at Katherine Mansfield Birthplace.

Her Painted Words features painting, sculptures and jewellery from 20 contemporary artists, including Ans Westra, Karl Maughan and Joanna Braithwaite.

vice-chairwoman of Katherine Mansfield Birthplace, said Some artists used quotes and excerpts from Mansfield's published stories and others researched deeper to come up with an idea for their work, says Laurel Harris, vice-chairwoman of Katherine Mansfield Birthplace.

"The artists have run with the idea," she said. "[We were all] astounded with the work. To see it all together, it's quite special."

Some money from the sale of the works will go toward the management and running of the house and garden at Katherine Mansfield Birthplace.

Ms Harris said the gardens were an important part of the tourist attraction and the exhibition was a way to acknowledge the work of the volunteer gardeners.

"We wanted to celebrate their work and show another aspect of Mansfield which may not have always been considered."

Curator Nicola Saker said Mansfield was usually portrayed as a "tragic consumptive", and the idea was to expand people's ideas about the writer.

"Right up to the end of her life, she delighted in the natural world, particularly flowers. We wanted to convey that delight."

The exhibition also features some of Mansfield's notebooks, which contain doodles of flowers.

The exhibition will be launched tonight and launching of the exhibition and it will be open to the public from tomorrow.

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- The Dominion Post

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