Molly Timmins is interested in exploring heritage and the natural environment. Being in a family with generations of gardeners has provoked a fascination with the natural wonders of New Zealand and the women who have painted this before her. Utilising the delicate practice of embroidery alongside and interacting with paint seeks to create a new world within the canvas while speaking to a rich history of female landscape artists.
"My practice seeks to bring together and acknowledge a particular set of female artists whose work has paved the context I work in today. The mediums of paint and embroidery are utilised, individually and in combination, as a means of building contextual references while offering an opening into new ways of exploring landscape.
My late Grandmother Hazel Jack painted in the naturalistic style of a 1980s hobbyist artist, and the limitations imposed upon female artists of that time period is evident in her work. She filled watercolour sketch books and painted upon small panels with no intention of presenting these to the world, at times utilising one sketch book page for multiple landscape paintings. Viewing her work allows me to see the world through her eyes and gesture, and I aim to honour her alongside influential artists to examine the expectations and hierarchies both within the art world and the world of the canvas.
Susan Te Kahurangi King is often labelled an ‘outsider’ artist. Much like hobbyism, this term creates a hierarchy that can dismiss the integrity of the work and the artist herself. While references to Susan’s art is at times made explicit in my work, her influence is also present implicitly as a motivation to make my own mark. Similarly to Hazel, Susan’s perseverance is evident in the continued quantity of work that resists societal expectations. I am interested in bringing their work into contact with established artists Rita Angus and Frances Hodgkins to equalise and honour all four women.
While historical reference and acknowledgement is important, the world of the canvas is prioritised. The landscapes I paint are a way of weaving acknowledgment and depiction together with my own embodied responses. Individually and collectively, the paintings operate as an ongoing dynamic space."
By Molly Timmins