Artist Jan Chaffey nurtures our natural environment

Press Release – Ashburton Gallery

Artist Jan Chaffey nurtures our natural environment

Tai Tapu artist Jan Chaffey’s exhibition of recent works reflects her devotion to our natural environment. The artist has a love for wild places and native plants which she showcases in our new exhibition which opens on Saturday the 3 April and runs until 13 May 2016. Recent Works draws the viewer’s attention to the native flora and fauna of New Zealand and highlights the need for their protection.

The works in this exhibition were produced over the last two years and include a number of large oil paintings on canvas that capture native plants in a rich palette with loose and gestural brushstrokes. This style is familiar to Chaffey work. On view alongside these works are a new series of more delicate studies on mulberry paper. These works are more restrained and reference scientific plant studies with the artist’s unique signature and the species names carefully integrated into each work like research notes.

Chaffey has had an extensive art career with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury in the 1950s after which she took up work as a set designer with the New Zealand Players Theatre Trust in Wellington. In the 1970s she moved to the high country in Canterbury with her family where she learnt much about alpine plants and organisms. Her extensive knowledge in this area lead her to work in the Botany Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) as well as in a teaching role at the School of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University. In 1986 she began painting again and it was her mission to make her scientific plant knowledge accessible to others.

Chaffey has exhibited throughout the South Island over the last 30 years and her painting practice has taken her to visit the sub Antarctic Islands, Campbell, Auckland and the Snares. Recent Works has a strong message about the conservation of our natural environment, an cause that Chaffey has dedicated much of her life to which she wishes to pass on to the others.

Jan Chaffey

Recent Works

Join the artist at the launch of this exhibition on Saturday 2 April, 2pm.

Exhibition runs 3 April – 13 May 2016


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