Landing Contemporary Art presents 'The Secret Garden'

Exhibition explores feminine perspective of nature and the human condition.
Landing Contemporary Art The Secret Garden oline exhibit.

 

By Kristie Landing

 

By highlighting our deep bonds with the Earth, "The Secret Garden" honors the seeds we plant throughout our lives.

 

Using botanical imagery aimed at highlighting the enduring connections between nature and life, I am pleased to announce"The Secret Garden,"featuring the work of five women artists. The online exhibition goes live at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday, July 1st atlandingcontemporaryart.com.

Ailene de Vries, "Madeleine," 2018, Pigment Print, 20" x 16"
Ailene de Vries, "Madeleine," 2018, Pigment Print, 20" x 16"

 

Running until August 31, 2021, the exhibition features the work of Joan Aglaia, Elizabeth Castaldo, Ailene de Vries, Nicki Klepper, and Melanie Schoeniger. Working across a variety of media, including photography, painting and printmaking, these artists have created engaging visual constructions using botanical imagery. Every work in the show has been rendered through a process of experimentation in which the artists’ visions slowly unfolded to reveal and conceal various truths about nature as well as the human condition. By highlighting our deep bonds with the Earth, "The Secret Garden" honors the seeds we plant throughout our lives.

 

Melanie Schoeniger, "Shadow of the cloud/01," 2021, Ed. of 50, Fine art pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308g/m2 matte, 42" x 29.7"
Melanie Schoeniger, "Shadow of the cloud/01," 2021, Ed. of 50, Fine art pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308g/m2 matte, 42" x 29.7"

 

Throughout history, there has been a close relationship between the female body and botanicals as represented in art, but not always to the benefit of women.

 

Step into the secret garden where poppies exhibit human-like energy, roots trace the skin like tattoos, and the patriarchal pages of art history are rewritten with the power of a pressed petal. This garden of delights praises nature as an enduring muse but also delves into the links between human life and nature from a woman’s perspective. 

 

Elizabeth Castaldo, "The First Step," 2020, Mixed Media on paper, 39" x 27.5"
Elizabeth Castaldo, "The First Step," 2020, Mixed Media on paper, 39" x 27.5"

 

Throughout history, there has been a close relationship between the female body and botanicals as represented in art, but not always to the benefit of women. Women were once relegated to painting still lifes, while men painted any subject they pleased (often women). The associations in literature, poetry, and paintings between the female figure and flowers are rampant and often lacking in subtlety. It is works like Castaldo’s “The First Step,” 2020, and de Vries’ “Eve/Pandora,” 2018 that subvert this portrayal and offer a paradigm shift.

 

Step into the secret garden where poppies exhibit human-like energy, roots trace the skin like tattoos, and the patriarchal pages of art history are rewritten with the power of a pressed petal.

 

Ailene de Vries, "Magdelene," 2019, Pigment Print, 20" x 16"
Ailene de Vries, "Magdelene," 2019, Pigment Print, 20" x 16"

 

There’s a creeping nostalgia that comes from the act of preservation, as is evidenced in many of the works in this show. From Klepper’s glowing lumen prints to Schoeniger’s photographs, there is an insistence on holding on to the transient moments that would otherwise elude us. This is particularly poignant at the moment in which our planet is facing both a biological and an ecological crisis. Like flowers in bloom, we too have a beautiful, yet fleeting existence. By holding onto the ephemeral moments, the artwork in "The Secret Garden" reminds us to appreciate all that is precious before it is gone.

 

Elizabeth Castaldo, "Finding the Light," 2020, Mixed Media on paper, 12" x 9"
Elizabeth Castaldo, "Finding the Light," 2020, Mixed Media on paper, 12" x 9"

 

About Landing Contemporary Art

 

As an independent art curator, I founded Landing Contemporary in 2019 to serve as an online art platform that empowers emerging artists across the globe. Without relying on a physical storefront, LCA hosts themed pop-ups and exhibitions in different communities as well as online. The gallery website offers pricing transparency, an easy method of purchase, and an inside look at artist motivations and collecting tips.

 

For more information, visitlandingcontemporaryart.com,or follow along on Instagram @landingcontemporaryart

 

Editor's note: For additional Charleston Grit coverage of Landing Contemporary Art, see "Landing Contemporary Art announces new online photography exhibition," December 4, 2020.