7 – 24 November 2019
about the exhibition
“A glimpse into my garden – mostly at the roses. Actually they are only a small part of the whole garden as there are big productive veggie beds and lots of fruit trees and the whole gamut of edibles as well as flowers, perennials, shrubs and hedges…. Add to that the birds, insects, kangaroos, possums, shingle backs, geckos, brownies, the occasional red fox and those darned rabbits and it’s a pretty lively place to be. Hard to take for granted and humbling and refreshing. Maybe the fragile scented imperfect beauty of the roses is all the more so after all that dirty work – digging, manuring and mulching. None of these are those pampered, leggy long stemmed bunch of roses for the girlfriend types – these are the shrubs – tough stalwarts of the borders, repeating all summer and coping with all soils and light positions just because they need to live.” Elisabeth Kruger 2019
Elisabeth’s work is very much focused on our relationship with plant life. As she writes above, she specifically explores the personal, immediate, and fragile nature of the garden space, and its cycle of luscious growth, bloom, and blossom, which ultimately leads to decay, decomposition, and then verdant regrowth. Her images are thoroughly immersive with a treatment that is rich and fertile, large in scale yet close and intimate, the intensity of her approach can be both unsettling and transporting for the viewer. She is a master of oil paints, building layers through the application of thin glazes of paint to create deep visuals with subtle textures. One is always reminded that, though her subject matter deals exclusively with nature, the human element is always present. Time abroad in her early career both reinforced and developed her fascination with the European aesthetic, linked to the manipulation of landscape and the shaping of structures to achieve defined visual form. Elisabeth Kruger has refined her aesthetic over a career spanning four decades. A graduate of the ANU School of Art, her detailed works rely on an extensive set of technical and artistic skills. Since her first solo exhibition when she worked with textiles at the Craft Association of the ACT in 1978, Elisabeth has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. With commissions spanning from Japan to Italy, her work appears in many major public and corporate collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Artbank, ACT Legislative Assembly, ANZ Bank and Moët & Chandon (Epernay, France).