Mountain Range - oil on canvas 48"x72" - BELOW CHRISTCHURCH exhibition May 2- 18 ,2013
BELOW CHRISTCHURCH - painting exhibition May 02-18, 2013
"Forest fires are neither good nor bad," observed a public road sign, as I drove through the Rockies near Banff. Many years later, people on the Greek Island of Samos, unable to blame nature for the fire consuming their forests, blamed people, arsonists. Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon which, only partly understood by human scientists, cannot yet be modified by us.
We tend to think of nature, especially landscape, as serene. Yes, the weather can change, but the shape of the earth does not. However, the primeval forces of nature are as responsible for the rise of mountain ranges and the delineation of oceans and continents as for earthquakes and tsunamis.
"Below Christchurch" is a painting series based on the mountainous areas in New Zealand's South Island. The serene and stormy Southern Alps have arisen from the core of the earth, just as parts of the City of Christchurch were destroyed by the recent earthquakes there.
Mary Wright was born in New Zealand and emigrated to Canada in 1968 for postgraduate medical training in psychiatry. While still in psychoanalytic training she began to study painting and later completed her diploma in Fine Art at what was then the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University). Her first solo show, at the offices of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society in 1982, was a series of abstract watercolours of New Zealand west coast scenery. Her work has been shown in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Italy, and Santiago, Chile in 16 solo exhibitions as well as many group and juried shows. She is especially interested in music, memories and fantasy.
The new work I am developing draws on and extends earlier themes from New Zealand: childhood experiences, stories and fantasies.
The New Zealand landscape, particularly its wild beaches, cliffs and indigenous plant life constituted a source of spiritual nourishment and peace for me. This calmness of nature was wholly undisturbed by the story my father used to tell about the "pink and white striped Taniwha" which, he said, lived in the bush and ate little girls.