Eileen Mayo

British / Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1906, d.1994

Springing Fern

  • Purchased 2011
  • Screenprint
  • 578 x 365mm
  • 2011/230
  • 1983

English-born Eileen Mayo excelled across a remarkable range of media, including drawing, linocuts, wood engraving, lithography, tapestry and silk screening. She also became a sought-after commercial designer, known for exquisitely detailed and balanced images that appeared on stamps and coins in Australia and New Zealand. Mayo had lived in New Zealand for twenty years when she made this screenprint of young fern fronds in the lush native bush. One of her last prints, it combines an enduring appreciation of the natural world with extraordinary technical ability, conveying not only the beauty of the plants she depicts, but a sense of their place within a complex and interconnected ecosystem.

(Unseen: The Changing Collection, 18 December 2015 – 19 June 2016)