Floral Rebellion by Katherine Throne

Floral Rebellion

Katherine Throne

18 March to 14 April 2024

Sanderson are pleased to present the exhibition Floral Rebellion featuring a new body of work by Katherine Throne.

Floral Rebellion is a collection of oil paintings that champion the flower in a contemporary manner. This new body of work explores Throne’s own garden, which she started from half an acre of building debris over two years ago. Selecting a range of plants that would thrive in her challenging Otago environment, Throne’s garden is now an abundant and vibrant setting.

Throne states:

‘I love the plants for their individual beauty, as well as how they exist in this wild muddle of exuberance.’[1]

The tenacity, vigour and beauty of nature have motivated Throne’s practice for years. The energy the artist feels within a garden she translates into sweeping gestural marks, built-up washes, and thick layers of impasto oil paint.

‘Capturing the flower’s energy is what I strive to achieve. My paintings push the boundary of the traditional floral motif in the way I apply paint, portraying it as a fearless, beautiful inhabitant of our natural environment. The connection between the garden and my art is that they are both an expression of resilience.’[2]

‘While I’ve recently been experimenting with painting arrangements in vases that have ended up all over my kitchen bench, mostly the flowers in this exhibition are depicted in their natural setting.’[3]

Sedum and helenium sit alongside dahlias in vivid jewel-like tones. Sun streams through arching stems and falls across laden flower heads. In vases, the blooms appear in conversation with one another; their lavish petals jostling for prime space. While some areas of the canvas are heavily worked, in other places a simple brush stroke eludes to the fleeting beauty of what could be gone tomorrow.

‘Clearly these are modern flowers, not bound by the traditional expectations set up by the centuries-old language of flowers. Yet Katherine’spaintings still evoke the metaphorical power of flowers: representingthe concept of beauty, and the pleasure to be found in nature and in a garden.

Throne’s skill in manipulating paint to simulate the patterns of light falling on floral abundance fills us with delight. Each work is a portrait of strength, courage and endurance, qualities we can all admire and aspire to.’ [4] – Dr Linda Tyler, 2022


[1] ‘The Wild Ones' - An interview with Katherine Throne, HOME Magazine, Feb/Mar Issue 2024.

[2] & [3] Ibid.

[4] Tyler, Linda. Dr. ‘Flowers Reigning Supreme’ exhibition essay, Sanderson Contemporary, 5-30th Jul 2022.

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