I’m delighted to be taking part in this exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery. Details below:

Herbicide, acrylic on board, 30 x 21.5cm, Helen Thomas, 2021

Entwined: plants in Contemporary Painting
Huddersfield Art Gallery: Unit 7, The Piazza Centre, Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield, HD1 2RS

Exhibition dates: 9 November 2022 – 28 January 2023
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission free

From the artist-curators Barbara Howey and Judith Tucker:

“The paintings in this exhibition invite their viewers to look closely at plants. They do this through the widest of ranges of approaches to paint, the selected painters all delight in our extraordinary vegetive world. This visual feast explores why painting plants matters now, using approaches from lyrical abstraction through to forensic observation of plants in crisis. How might this deep exploration of plants, through paint, help us understand our place in the world now? What does it mean to understand a locale through an intense study of what is growing close at hand? Of course, there is a provocation to slow down, to give attention to detail and specificity in all the works. This reflects our renewed relation with nature: those places we have come to value so much, where we go to catch our breath and connect to the more-than-human-world. Some of the paintings’ beauty belies darker and melancholic attributes, plants as symptom of loss, as metaphor for migration, the legacy of colonialism and as a contemporary take on memento-mori. For this invitation to look slowly and the focus on the specificity and minutiae of plants comes, paradoxically, at a moment of wider global trauma both in terms of the pandemic but also its corollary, global heating and alarming biodiversity loss.

The visual conversation that this exhibition engenders, with its focus on the up-close world of plants will be in dialogue with earlier scientific, aesthetic and design representations of plants. The works in the show work with and against the rich traditions of the many and various aesthetic traditions of depicting plants, from botanical illustration, to decoration and design, to a reversal and reworking of ideas of landscape painting as immersive rather than a view, and the focus on the fragility of more-than-human life specifically the endangered nature of plant species, is certainly a memento mori, but not just ours.”

Amanda Ansell
Bryony Benge-Abbott
Hannah Brown
Graham Crowley
Sam Douglas
Michele Fletcher
Linda Ingham
Juliette Losq
Paula MacArthur
Iain Nicholls 
Joe Packer
Julian Perry
Narbi Price
Harvey Taylor
Helen Thomas
Judith Tucker
Joanna Whittle