Sumer presents Any Plant Thought of Too Much Will Not Thrive, an exhibition of work by Zina Swanson.
In these works (all 2020) Swanson draws on plant-related lore to interrogate the way we live with plants. Geraniums growing in an open window will prevent flies from entering the room. Any plant thought of too much will not thrive. These curious phrases and others like them form the basis for a collection of immaculate watercolour and acrylic paintings that are humorous and uncanny while also hinting at a darker view of humanity’s relationship to the natural world.
While the viewer is encouraged to contemplate the futility of a task such as “pointing at a daffodil will keep it from blooming” these works also resonate on a deeper level. Why are we so determined to bend the natural world to our will? In line with this there is always a human presence––the outline of a face, noses, a hand––or something that suggests a human has been here: a window, neatly arranged sticks. The works are smaller in scale, though this is one of their strengths. They’re scaled for an interaction with the viewer that is personal, intimate, and so wonderfully unnerving.
Opening reception: Thursday 19 November, 5:30pm.
The gallery is open and practicing COVID-19 social distancing measures.