Recently I went and viewed the exhibition of works by Kim Meek at Anna Miles Gallery in Auckland City centre.
I had spoted one of his works at the Art Fair and wanted to see more as they were of interest to me because: the content & approach used to create these works.
The content was of huge interest to me, as my challenge with using botanical in my practice appears (at times) to cause some concern. It was refreshing to see botanically inspired work hanging in a well respected gallery.
The works are a series of ‘incomplete, un-scientific & fanciful florilegium, inspired by the library of J.T. McKelvie. (James Tannock Mackelvie was a Glaswegian Scot who lived and worked in Auckland from 1865 to 1871. He made a fortune in land speculation and gold mining investments before returning to London, and was perhaps, Auckland's single biggest arts benefactor. Retrieved from: http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/visit/our-galleries/first-floor/the-mackelvie-collection)
The images of this series are digitally created (digital print technique appears to have a stronger appreciation within the fine arts sector, than traditional print making techniques), using many layers to create these. Layers such as digital cut-outs, patterns of things and shapes flower & foliage parts.
The layers of back ground patterns that look like old wallpaper or book covers. Without being able to locate the library of J.T. MacKelvie I am unable to pin point these accurately.
The flower parts appear as line drawings that have been scanned into the computer, making the flowers at times appear to be floating and have a very delicate look about them.
Other layers appear to be (digital?) cut outs of block colours, in some images there are more lines drawn on these block colours or they are left without any marks.
The foliage shapes have a similar treatment, some as simple line drawings while others have a background colour over which the lines are drawn. And then there is this non-specific scribble that appears on many of the images. This scribble line is at times one solid colour while on other images it has a simple pattern to it.
What made me think further is: Why is this such great art?
These are botanicaly inspired images, created digitally and the artist has interpreted the shapes of the flower parts in their own ‘unscientific’ manner.
Is it the combination of layers?
Is it the way the flowers float in many of the images?
Is it the combination of patterns?
Is it the fact that they are all inspired by a past Auckland art benefactor?
Is it the many layers that can be seen in the work?
They are many questions I grapple with, while am trying to work out why these works are so successful and am sure there are many more questions I could be asking about them.
To images of this exhibition visit: