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Jo Raill

Resident artist

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B.Hort, Dip teaching, Dip Ceramics ,PGDip Fine Arts


I trained as a horticulturist. I remember words like Mitochondria, Osmosis, Golgi, organic compounds and drawing in entomology, microscopic images. All of these memories have become exotic over time but learnings from this epoch still seep into my artwork. I had ambitions of being a landscape gardener but my ideas of gardens being wild and free of concrete weren't popular at the time. Organic gardening was not mainstream and permaculture had only just been thought of. I disliked chemical sprays, ornamental hedges and torturing plants into shapes.

My favourite place is a natural environment like the bush or a vast landscape, both evoke a feeling of no body, no thought, just being a part of something beyond self.

My artwork is an accumulation of all my garden / life  philosophies. It is ever evolving and changes from one series to the next.

Room to Grow Series
Everyone needs a room to grow where you can develop ideas with no expectations or outside critic. Just a space for an artist to be free. I thought an overseas residency would be the answer but when plans for this were scuttled a glasshouse my brother built became the vehicle.  The Room To Grow exhibition was going to be  in the glasshouse but the artwork became too big and eventually the exhibition took place in Auckland City. Below are some of my favourite pieces from that exhibition.

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