Adam and Eve in our garden



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Sue's garden



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In Our Garden

A review of Marilyn Andrews recent exhibition

Kaimira Winery, Nelson
17 March - 30 April 2009


'In Our Garden', a recent exhibition by Marilyn Andrews at the Kaimira Winery in Nelson seeks to remind us that life is good and is meant to be lived well.

This exhibition features a selection of works from four different series: 'In our Garden', 'Pathways to Heaven', 'Still Life and Mirrors' (the journey of self). The selected works each make evident a recurring theme of Andrews – that of the celebration of life, nature and spirit.

The works from each series act like memories of moments accumulated through living life and are distinctly different. 'The Pathway to Heaven' paintings feature iconic New Zealand imagery: ferns, Nikau palms and beaches, they conjure up memories of the dense closeness of walking through native bush. In contrast the 'Still Life' paintings, each stylistically different, present local fare and seemingly invite us to ‘eat, drink and be merry’. The 'Mirrors', created from sculpted and painted driftwood, ‘capture’ the image of a viewer and provide a moment of ‘reflection’. The final series and title of the exhibition 'In Our Garden' marks a departure: these works are the largest in the exhibition and at first glance are expressive, bold and high in colour saturation. However you soon realise that all is not as it seems – bugs begin to emerge from negative spaces, fish float along with the stems of plants and new worlds are revealed. The garden that we are seeing seems to be that of the memory of a child who, when lying down in an overgrown backyard peering through the foliage, ‘creates’ in their mind stories about animals, insects and fish – a fertile garden of the imagination.

This exhibition is about the artist’s response to life, food, nature and experiences. To fully appreciate this exhibition the viewer is asked to come inside her world, to see how she sees, feel how she feels, and think how she thinks – to see from the inside out.


Reviewed and written by David James - (Arts and Media Lecturer, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology)


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