Christine-Hellyar-Fern-Palm-and-Flowering-Plants Exhibition

Christine Hellyar — Fern, Palm, and Flowering Plants — New Botanical Drawings

October – November 2021

These drawings are the result of keen observation of our natural places for over 40 years.

Each of the drawings in this new exhibition has a curious inception.

On a large piece of paper Christine randomly sprinkles acrylic dye powder, which she then wets, sometimes outside with a garden hose.

The largely green and yellow effect that appears on the paper from this indiscriminate process creates the initial shape for the subsequent compositions.

Christine then draws the native plants of Aotearoa – from memory – onto the original coloured image.

The results have a truly ethereal feeling, so reminiscent of how it is when we walk in our native forests. The images are at one point watery and sparse, and next dark and foreboding.

But the detailed drawing of the plants is what focusses the viewer, and it is impossible not to marvel at the exacting and accurate portrayal of our fauna. The plant Rangiora is particularly well represented in this exhibition, perhaps because it has such a sculptural form, not lost on Christine, one of our most respected sculptors.

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