II. Exhibition Documentation /

Her thick old skin

April 2021

The exhibition includes works from Ann Shelton’s series the missionaries – a multi-layered examination of the plants brought to Aotearoa by early settlers. Writer Emil McAvoy has described these plants as “photogenic ambassadors… envoys without clear knowledge of the impact of their arrival — colonists without a game plan.” Transported into a new and very different land in the southern seas, the plants responded in unanticipated ways. Shelton, has long been interested in plant histories and their relationship to power structures. She grows some of the plants she employs and, drawing on the arts and crafts movement which developed in the mid-19th century in response to industrialisation, creates these arrangements which can be read as hyper-real large-scale plant portraits.
Bartley and Company Art