Hot House – Alien Garden

May 2009

Lunenburg Art Gallery Lunenburg, Nova Scotia with Shannon Bell

For Hot House I painted a series titled ‘Alien Gardens’ in which I explored the nature of stem and leaf, of root and flower, using references from nature as a springboard. I allowed myself some creative license as I imagined what might be in gardens more fertile and more wildly abandoned than my own.

What secrets grow unnoticed in the perennial border next door? What sinister plant is infiltrating the foundation of your garage? What is rampantly multiplying in the weed-choked undergrowth along the river? As the series developed, the images took on a more insidious, political connotation, as titles like ‘Mercenaries’, Conspiracy’ and ‘Revolution’ allude to.

These paintings are acrylic on canvas, with a concentration on colour and texture to convey emotion and form.

“Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”

Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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