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Exhibition Blog

By Arrangement - Recent Works by Tanya Mercer

Taranaki emerging artist, Tanya Mercer, will show her latest botanical themed oil paintings at KINA NZ Design + Artspace in New Plymouth with an exhibition titled ‘By Arrangement – Recent Works’.   From families of florists, horticulturalists and gardeners Mercer knows well the rapture nature casts over us by way of colour, texture, form and how these transpose into inspiration, nourishment and hope.
 
This collection of paintings further explores her interest in the delight we take culturally in framing and tidying landscape.  Mercer’s on-going ‘Traffic Island Series’ and her painting studies of newly established suburban housing developments, all present nature neatly and uniformly in its place. 
 
‘By Arrangement’ pokes amongst both the inspirations and the on-going labours required in maintaining such an ideal, neat and beautiful oasis.   It addresses the consuming nature of the garden maintained.  Works play with beauty and pictorial elements within nature itself, imagery from early English seed catalogues and of gardeners themselves all-consumed by the gardens around them.
 
Mercer’s childhood home doubled as a florist’s studio, with her mother arranging large and glamourous stands of flowers for weddings and on the occasion visiting royalty.  Her mother often draws the comparison between floristry and all the arts by ways of colour, texture and form.  In 1991, Mercer moved to Taranaki to study art, completing a BVA majoring in sculpture.   She moved with her partner to Northland to work alongside seed-saver Kay Baxter at Koanga Gardens, preserving heritage vegetable and flower stocks.   They have since come back to Taranaki to establish their own seed saving and education facility in Omata.  Mercer teaches art at New Plymouth Girls’ High School and loves the opportunity to work with young, engaged art makers.  Her work ‘Back Beach’ was a finalist in the Otago Gold Awards 2013 and was shown as part of the ‘Homework’ exhibition at Puke Ariki earlier this year. 
 
Opening Night
31st October at 5pm
exhibition runs until the 25th November 2014
The Gallery is open daily