ARTISTS Pat Hanly, Doris Lusk, Allen Maddox, Elizabeth Thomson CURATOR Aaron Lister
Wellington artist Elizabeth Thomson’s Lady North Star Parterre is the key work in this show. Its foreshortened perspective and optical trickery set up a complicated relationship with its subject—the Lady Norwood Rose Garden in Wellington Botanic Garden. The Rose Garden opened in 1953, as part of the Botanic Garden’s slow transformation from a scientific site to a recreational one. Based on formal European gardens, it's divided into quadrants, with paths from four sides converging on an open central space. It holds 110 flower beds showcasing rose varieties. Thomson represents it as alien—an otherworldly space hovering in space. Here, it's accompanied with works with botanical subjects from the Wellington City Council collection, including a Doris Lusk still-life painting, and expressionist paintings by Pat Hanly and Allen Maddox that revel in the garden as a place of liberation and escape.