Posted by: aquaplusflora | September 16, 2011

Site Rescene

Last year  I was invited to participate in this show

which is currently on at our regional gallery here in Nelson (NZ)

Putting my amazement at the invitation aside, I agreed to give it a go.  Our brief was to select a painting from the Suter’s collection of John Gully watercolours and create a response to it.

My choice was Baigent’s Bush, a study of a stand of pine and totara trees which was a popular 19th Century picnic spot just outside of Nelson

The painting has suffered serious light damage and is on show in a protective glass case, but you can see the details if you double click on the photo (in fact you will need to double click on all the photos to see them properly)

I really loved the strong vertical lines in the painting and  felt I could work with that concept.

I created 15 silk drops which hang from the ceiling to invoke the feeling of a stand of trees.  They are dyed with plant dyes and eco prints of pine needles and totara twigs.  All the marks were created in the dye pot – no external manipulation or mark making.   When there is a breeze in the gallery they all gently float giving a sense of trees moving in the wind.

David, my husband, was also invited to be part of this exhibition and you can get glimpse of his 6 m long watercolour “book” in the right of hand side of the photo below.


  1. Jo I’ve been meaning to comment earlier but it has been rather busy on my blog lately! I just love your silk drops they look so natural and really depict the colours of the painting. I would love to see them moving in the breeze – that would be so beautiful!
    How is the exhibition going?
    Much love and many hugs,

    • hi suzy thanks for your kind words – the response has been great and its amazing that the browns all come from the colour the totara and pine creates in the dye pot – I used tea on one and then the blues are from red cabbage and the blue/greys from banksia rose stem in the iron pot – am part of a floor talk at the gallery on Saturday – luckily its only short!

      lots of love jo xx

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