Judith Van Heeren

Sea Garden

6 April – 5 May 2018 @ Murray White Room, Melbourne, Australia

Natural history meets artifice in Judith Van Heeren’s new paintings. Dutch-born artist Judith Van Heeren’s new exhibition Sea Garden at Murray White Room extends the artist’s longstanding interest in the genre of natural history painting, concentrating on a small series of tonal and atmospheric oceanic environments.

“It’s as though the artist inherited an Old Master aesthetic, particularly demonstrated in her early work painted in a full realist palette. But what should be understood about Judith’s work is that this is contemporary genre painting, simultaneously interested in scientific conventions while being also deliberately artificial. Judith depicts flora and fauna in impossible combinations, with species that would never coexist,” White says.

Van Heeren’s new work continues the artist’s three-decade long investigation of the natural world and the way it is represented, but it specifically draws on a formative moment the artistexperienced while diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

“I wanted to paint the beauty and also the fragility of this part of the world – these sea gardens under the surface of the ocean – that the majority of people have never seen and maybe never will see. I wanted to paint it in all its glory but also to capture it as fraught with tension,” says Van Heeren.


Murray White Room

Sargood Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia