‘If my heart wasn’t in art, it would be snapped up by something botanical.’
The long and illustrious history of the still life genre is often entangled with powerful moral lessons about the emptiness of worldly possessions and the transience of earthly life. Neva Hosking is an artist who clearly takes great personal delight in the living. Rather than celebrating the decline and death of the subject, Hosking creates hyperrealistic pencil and ink botanical studies on handmade and vintage paper to celebrate living plants.
Taking her cues from the rich visual delights of her immediate environment, Hosking’s still life works are semi-autobiographical – displaying in their subject matter and aesthetic structure cues from Hosking’s personal life. Drawn from life, the artist’s painstaking methodology explores Hosking’s own collection of plants examined in an intensely detailed technique. Devoid of colour, focus is made on the line and form of the artist’s subjects to engage a sense of attention that enables the elevation of otherwise overlooked plants.
Neva’s works are transformative. They do not aim to shock or admonish viewers, nor do they operate as vehicles for socio-political commentary. The detail, careful composition and craftsmanship of her practice provides ample stimulation for the viewer, providing a poignant reminder of the unique wonders of nature. Neva’s remarkable works of observation centred on living plants redefines the still life genre by celebrating nature.