Trees take centre stage in exhibition

CHARLOTTE SQUIRE
Last updated 14:31 02/04/2014
Lawrence Walterfang
PAULA GRANT
SOLO SHOW: Artist Jacquelyn E Lane.

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Trees continue to feature at Fairholme Gallery in Golden Bay this month, thanks to an artist who describes her work as "magical realism" with botanical influences.

Jacquelyn E Lane's first solo exhibition Deep in the Woods is on show at Fairholme Gallery alongside a group exhibition featuring four well-known Golden Bay artists.

Robin Slow, NgAng, Dean Raybould and Jo Campbell's work will feature in the exhibition Visions.

Lane's work is inspired by many different forests around the world including in New Zealand, Costa Rica, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

While researching for her book The Children of Gaia Lane travelled the world visiting the forests.

She says her book is an "environmental novel with a strong underpinning of metaphysics and ecology".

"The story follows the growing of a Sylvan elf named Khoros in the northern hemisphere, and the growing up of two teenagers in New Zealand," she says.

"We've got the human aspect and the spirit of nature aspect."

During the course of the story she says readers are taken into forests in New Zealand, Central America and Northern Europe.

Some of the 128 illustrations from the book feature in her Deep in the Woods exhibition, alongside other pieces from Lane's personal collection.

Included are several three dimensional works in oils that she spent six months working on, as well as water colours, coloured pencil, graphite and charcoal.

"These 3 D works were my first foray into oils. My husband always says if I started mountain climbing I'd start with Everest."

The material Lane uses to build sculptural texture beneath the oils is a "trade secret".

She also created spider webs and realistic spiders for her 3 D pieces.

"Doing botanical paintings and drawings before embarking on The Children of Gaia gave me a very good training ground," she says.

"I think it's about discovering the joy of forests and the totality of what they contain."

Lane aims to inspire people to "appreciate the whole aliveness of the plant kingdom" with her work.

"Forests are microcosms. They're the webs of life. They really show us how interrelated everything is."

Contemporary New Zealand Maori artist Robin Slow will exhibit two pieces in the Visions exhibition - Te Ao Marama and Manu Mohua.

"Mohua is the first old name of Golden Bay," says Slow. "That started off when we were doing the whare nui years ago, it's also the name of the yellow headed bird, it became a motif for the whanau here. It sort of represents the area itself."

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With regard to the title of the show, Slow says "you can tell a story to 20 people, and 20 people will get a different vision. I think it allows for that play to happen."

Takaka-based Dean Raybould, who has work in galleries around New Zealand, is also exhibiting at Fairholme. He uses found objects, glass, wood, boards and canvas that he says "are interlaced with social and environmental commentary, black humour and ambiguous musings on human existence."

Award-winning multi media artist NgAng and encaustic artist and tutor Jo Campbell are also exhibiting. Campbell's encaustic work involves painting and fusing layers of molten beeswax mixed with resin and local pigment.

She studied sculpture at Edinburgh Art College before travelling widely and eventually settled in Golden Bay. Her work explores "visual and embodied experiences of self and nature, influenced by 15 years of Zen training."

- Nelson

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