Exhibition 'a tribute to the beauty of nature'

Painter Bruce Luxford is offering people a moment of quiet contemplation with his new exhibition, Floral Series, at the Zimmerman Contemporary Art Gallery in Palmerston North.

Luxford's exhibition of oil paintings is a departure from his usual philosophical works and are a simple response to the natural world. He said he wanted these paintings to be a tribute to the beauty of nature.

"I am a thinker, I guess, and I have built my background in art around wanting to understand the world that I live in. I ask questions, but I am also at that point where you've got to take a step back from the deep and meaningful sometimes."

Luxford is now retired after a long career in graphic design. He learnt his art through his work in a time where Luxford said "drawing boards were actually drawn".

"I worked in advertising when the agencies still carried studios and I got my start well before computers."

Luxford now paints from his studio in Seatoun, Wellington, and is an elected member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

While his usual style lies in surrealism, Luxford said for this exhibition he was happy to just be humbled by nature and allow people to marvel at nature.

"We are such intelligent creatures but then in engineering we often mimic nature. I guess there is a comment in there about the bad things we do to nature as well."

Bronwyn Zimmerman, from the Zimmerman Contemporary Art Gallery, has exhibited Luxford's work since 2010. She said some of Luxford's paintings played on the idea of wood and the cycle of production and manufacturing it into something that gives it new life.

"From artificially arranged stands of coloured pencils, fresh new blooms burst forth."

Luxford also said a "faint and hazy memory" of Edwardian wallpaper with its "strong and powerful colour" was an influence on this series of paintings.

Floral Series will be exhibited at the Zimmerman Contemporary Art Gallery until August 31.

Manawatu Standard