Zina Swanson

b.1981

Sun Eye, Sad Eye

  • Purchased 2019
  • Watercolour
  • 350 x 280 x 15mm
  • 2019/026
  • 2018

In 1973, a book called 'The Secret Life of Plants' described experiments on how plants respond to humans and experience feelings, such as pain, fear or sadness, maybe even love. It told of a spiritually gifted friend, Vivian Wiley, who believed she could communicate with plants and documented her emotional exchanges with two saxifrage leaves that she had picked from her garden. The leaf that she ignored withered and died, while the one she paid attention to thrived, thereby proving that plants can read your mind.

Drawing on the psychology of plants and theories of plant perception, this series of watercolour paintings from Christchurch artist Zina Swanson are from the body of work For Vivian, a window into the world of plant paranormal and our reciprocal relationships with nature. These intricate works show the merging of people, plants, and natural resources, our interconnection with the environment, its seasonal changes and variations.

(Melanie Oliver, April 2020)