• Nicola Farquhar

Drawing on the invented languages of science fiction and the taxonomy of plants and animals, the exhibition title 'L.oen.nium' encourages speculation around a group of new and modified works.

Farquhar has developed a distinctive painterly language that explores metabolic or reproductive processes — human and non-human. She often makes use of ambiguous compositional “frames” that might be cells, wombs, food baskets, archeological relics or, indeed, universes. The works in L.oen.nium could be described as “pulpy”; the artist is particularly interested in abstractions of fruit, flowers, eggs, and organs — creating an environment inside the gallery that is lush and embryonic.

A sense of regeneration is also present in Farquhar’s approach to physical making, which often incorporates found and repurposed materials. Small sculptural objects made from painted wood rest atop, but are not attached to, the paintings, allowing the artist to reconfigure and repurpose them. Lumpy paper mache discs, made from collected discarded papers from the Farquhar’s home, disrupt the geometry of her stretched canvases.

The exhibition continues Farquhar’s enquiry into the relationship between plants, humans and animals within storytelling. Her works respond to the personification of feelings or ideas within gothic and folk stories, and the work of women science fiction authors who push against normative bodies, genders and ways of understanding the world.

L.oen.nium is accompanied by a newly commissioned text by Ash Davida Jane, to be released during the exhibition. It is also a companion to Farquhar’s concurrent solo exhibition Enthripadar at Ōtautahi artist-run space Paludal. Whereas Enthripadar imagines Paludal’s gallery space as a “lightbox” full of insect-like paintings, L.oen.nium approaches CoCA’s Ō Papa gallery as a “mothership” filled with curious specimens.

Nicola Farquhar is an Ōtautahi-based artist. Recent exhibitions include Heavy trees, arms and legs, developed by The Physics Room in collaboration with Coastal Signs and the Suter Art Gallery; Listening, Twitching, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery; A Holotype Heart, Hopkinson Mossman; and Necessary Distraction: A painting show, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

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  • Saturday: 10am-3pm


  • 66 Gloucester Street
  • Christchurch Central