Jane Hayes-Greenwood

The Witch’s Garden

26.07 – 20.08 | 2.09 –  September 27.09. 2019

 

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Black Prince, 2019, Acrylic and oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

 

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Sugar Almond, 2019, Acrylic and oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

 

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Beehive Ginger, 2019, Acrylic and oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

 

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Silver Dollar, 2019, Acrylic and oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

 

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Silver Dollar, 2019, Acrylic and oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

 

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Apollo’s Gift I, 2018, Acrylic and oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

 

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False Unicorn Root, 2019, Acrylic and oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

 

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Rainbow Moonstone, 2019, Acrylic and oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

 

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Compared with the large scale installations of paintings, objects and video she has shown previously, the show Jane Hayes-Greenwood presents at GiG seems, at first glance, quite straightforward. It consists of thirteen small oil paintings, all on identically sized linen canvases, each depicting one flower or plant. Some of these plants – like for instance, One O’Clock Gun – look vaguely familiar, something you might come across in a garden or meadow, others are startlingly strange, unnatural composites of tubular forms, bulbs, prickles and flesh.  Although many of the plants are green, the colours are unlike those found in nature, a mixture of viridian, mint, pale blue, grey and black. The plants are rooted in the soil, but this is pale yellow or pink – they are clearly defined, casting strong theatrical shadows, yet equally clearly, they are not from this world. They are all slightly larger than life.

Speaking to Jane, we learn that the work stems from her earlier research into the origin of the ❤️ symbol. It is thought that this shape is based on the seeds of a mythical plant, the Silphium, known in Roman times for its contraceptive and aphrodisiacal properties.  A possible recreation of how Silphium might have looked appears in Apollo’s Gift and Apollo’s Gift II. The other plants of the collection have been similarly selected for their histories, their medicinal properties or even, as with One O’Clock Gun, for their unusual name.  Together they form a ‘Witch’s Garden,’ and it seems very deliberate to be showing them in Bavaria, a state infamous for one of the largest witch trials of the 17th century. 

But just as a fast motion film of a plant germinating and growing does not bring us any closer to the actual seedling, knowing more about Jane’s research practice is not what brings us close to the work.  As Heidegger argues in his short essay ‘The Thing,’ the abolition of distance brings no nearness, indeed often when distance is abolished, the nearness of the thing remains absent. Nearness cannot be encountered directly, instead, it can only be reached by attending to what is near.  And what is near according to Heidegger, are things, standing on their own, self-supporting and independent. Things are not objects, neither re-presented in perception, thought through their making process nor through the function they fulfil. They cannot be defined for us, precisely, by scientific method.  We have to learn the activities of things through what they do, because things are foremost an activity that involves other things and non-things – the world. 

Since I have known Jane, she has always been interested in things, whether these are the mysterious artefacts of her earlier drawings, the fetishistic partial objects of her paintings, or in this case, the plant forms contained by her canvases. Whether or not these plants are supposed to be life-like or make-believe, they gather together tales of the divine and the problems of being human, what relates to the infinite, and what is defined as perishable. Quite literally they stem forth to join earth and sky. They encourage us not to think the earth and sky separately in order to define and understand them but together, at once, intertwined. 

Magdalena Wisniowska 2019

Jane Hayes-Greenwood

The Witch’s Garden

26.07 – 20.08 | 2.09 –  September 27.09. 2019

 

Apollo's Gift I

 

 

GiG Munich is excited to present The Witch’s Garden, the first international solo exhibition by London-based, British artist Jane Hayes Greenwood. The show focuses on the artist’s latest series of work, newly made paintings of dreamlike plants and the mythical gardens where they might grow. Exploring desire, control and magical thinking, the work makes use of an idiosyncratic symbolism, referencing varied sources such as illuminated manuscripts, botanical illustration, anatomical diagrams and herbal fertility guides.

In The Witch’s Garden the painted plants act as potential ingredients for love potions or spells, their depicted herbs and flowers thought to have special power and potency.  Drawing on apocryphal histories, the painting Apollo’s Gift I is based on an extinct plant known as Silphium, reportedly used as a contraceptive and aphrodisiac in the 700 BC. Described as having a heart-shaped seed, one theory suggests this might be where the heart shape symbol ❤ originated from.  The Witch’s Garden explores our relationship to the natural world, our bodies and their life cycles, and considers fear, power and ritual behaviour.

Jane Hayes Greenwood completed an MA in Fine Art at the City & Guilds of London Art School with distinction in 2015. Soon afterwards she was shortlisted for the Catlin Art Prize, 2016 (London) and presented a large-scale solo exhibition, Lead Me Not Into Temptation, 2017 at Block 336 (London). She was recently selected for the  Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting, 2018, as one of the 40 artists whose practices have been shaping and defining Britain’s contribution to current painting on the national and international stage. She is also the co-founder and Director of Block 336; an artist-run project space, studio provider and UK registered charity located in Brixton, London that has hosted over 30 exhibitions. She teaches within the BA Fine Art department at City & Guilds of London Art School.

 


 

GiG Munich freut sich, The Witch’s Garden zu präsentieren, die erste internationale Einzelausstellung der in London lebenden britischen Künstlerin Jane Hayes Greenwood. Die Ausstellung konzentriert sich auf die neueste Werkreihe des Künstlers, auf neu entstandene Gemälde traumhafter Pflanzen und auf die mythischen Gärten, in denen sie wachsen könnten. Die Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit Begierde, Kontrolle und magischem Denken und benutzt eine eigenwilligen Symbolik, die sich auf verschiedene Quellen bezieht, wie zum Beispiel illuminierte Manuskripte, botanische Illustrationen, anatomische Diagramme und Kräuterfruchtbarkeitsführer.

In The Witch’s Garden fungieren die bemalten Pflanzen als potenzielle Zutaten für Liebestränke oder Zaubersprüche, wobei die abgebildeten Kräuter und Blumen eine besondere Kraft und Potenz haben sollen. Das Gemälde Apollos Geschenk I basiert auf einer ausgestorbenen Pflanze namens Silphium, die angeblich im Jahr 700 v. Chr. als Verhütungsmittel und Aphrodisiakum verwendet wurde. Eine Theorie besagt, dass es sich um einen herzförmigen Samen handelt, von dem möglicherweise das Herzformsymbol ❤ stammt. Der Hexengarten erforscht unsere Beziehung zur natürlichen Welt, unseren Körpern und ihren Lebenszyklen und betrachtet Angst, Kraft und rituelles Verhalten.

Jane Hayes Greenwood hat 2015 einen MA in Fine Art an der City & Guilds of London Art School mit Auszeichnung abgeschlossen. Kurz darauf wurde sie für den Catlin Art Prize 2016 (London) gewählt und präsentierte eine große Einzelausstellung mit dem Titel Lead Me Not Into Temptation, 2017, Block 336 (London). Sie wurde kürzlich für die Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting 2018 als eine der 40 Künstlerinnen ausgewählt, deren Praxis den britischen Beitrag zur aktuellen Malerei auf nationaler und internationaler Ebene geprägt und definiert hat. Sie ist auch Mitbegründerin und Direktorin von Block 336, ein von Künstlern geführter Projektraum, ein Studioanbieter und eine in Großbritannien registrierte Wohltätigkeitsorganisation mit Sitz in Brixton, London, die über 30 Ausstellungen veranstaltet hat. Sie unterrichtet im BA Fine Art Department der City & Guilds of London Art School.