The Leaf Paintings

Tahuna Torea

Over the past two years there has been a shift in my work away from purely abstract forms. One day a few years ago when I was living in Sydney I picked up a couple of long gum leaves, applied paint and pressed them onto a small canvas I was working on, leaving green leaf imprints. This was the beginning of a enduring fascination with leaf structures. The leaf paintings reflect a desire to engage more directly with the natural world in my artwork. These paintings are a record of and homage to the local ecology. Some are comprised of species native to New Zealand but more commonly they are a mixture of introduced and native species. Much like the human population, the local ecology is diverse, abundant and full of interesting surprises.

Aestuarium, Land

Aestuarium, Sea

Some of these works represent wild places that are relatively untouched, in contrast to the more cultivated gardens of suburbia. I often gather the leaves that I use on walks in my local area. I’m hoping to exhibit some of the leaf paintings in 2017.

orakei-sketch

Orangerie

Lemon Balm Garden