Nature, Nurture: An exhibition of synergy and strength

An exhibition by contemporary artists Brenda Clews and Claire Wallwork, opening this week at The Grey Place in Grey Lynn, Tāmaki Makaurau, explores the unique perspectives of nature, rebirth and renewal. 

Brenda Clews and Claire Wallwork at The Grey Space

“Brenda and I have loved each other’s work for a long time, and have a shared passion for nature. We share a mindset that if you infuse your work with love, mana and energy, that becomes part of the fabric of the canvas,” says Claire Wallwork.  “Brenda is very spontaneous and playful with her work, while I’m more structured. We bring a different point of view, with a common synergy, to the exhibition.” 

Claire’s style is unapologetically feminine. “I’m very honest with my process. The outcome always mirrors how I’m feeling in my world. I start my canvas with meditation and contemplation, and, as I paint, the story unfolds.” Her botanical forms curve and weave; a pause in the bloom – the delicate subject matter depicting nature’s strength, energy and resilience. 

Life Under The Microscope, by Claire Wallwork, framed mixed media on canvas, 1520mm x 1215mm

The abstract landscapes of Brenda Clews are layered, joyful and experimental. The repetition of arches before a sea in bright blue or gold reveals the nature of coastal Aotearoa. The use of vibrant colour, deliberate and layered texture and bold brushwork is uplifting. “I paint within the seasons, therefore each body of work is reactive to the changing of the colours, tone and light of my immediate environment,” Brenda explains. “I play on the canvas with a colour palette, adding layers and textures. I never know how the painting will turn out before I start.”

Beyond The Dunes by Brenda Clews, framed, acrylic on canvas, 1240mm x 940mm

Claire and Brenda are donating 10 per cent of all proceeds to Worldwide Fund for Nature which is celebrating its 60th year in service to the planet. 

Nature, Nurture is on display at The Grey Space from 1 February 2022.


Words: Katie Delany

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