• Karl Maughan

Artist Karl Maughan, described as a ‘painterly landscape architect,’ continues his connoisseurship of the cultivated garden in this new body of work. Painting gardenscapes, composed within his imagination but inspired by reality, Karl takes full control of designing and growing his gardens. By enhancing particular elements and downplaying others, Karl invites the viewer into a seemingly beautiful, otherworldly, and protected place. Often with paths leading the way, sometimes with an enticing water’s edge in the mid-ground, there is a journey on offer towards a more wild and untamed place. In ‘Manawatu River,’ the viewer is situated as if already standing on the painting’s pathway. Flanked by rhododendron shrubs, looking across the water, distant mountaintops can be glimpsed through the branches of towering redwoods—beckoning to the viewer.

These new paintings all depict sun-drenched scenes—jewel-like in appearance, twinkling and brilliant after an imagined shower of rain—with clear blue skies indicated overhead. On approach from a distance, each painting—a riot of saturated colour—transforms from a defined and familiar scene to a mass of variable expressive brushstrokes. As colour cuts into colour, with minimal blending on the canvas, Karl creates a richness and intensity of hue which adds to the illusion of a place recognised but not entirely placeable, yet captivating all the same.

Born in 1964, Maughan graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Elam Art School, University of Auckland in 1987. Both Maughan’s parents were keen gardeners. At times, his father designed gardens for a living and Maughan found he was often sharing his parents love of all things botanical. His passion for the garden motif within his artwork began in art school where he painted his mother’s garden. Maughan says, “what I found with flowers and gardens, generally, is that you get a tableau of things you can play around with and ideas that you can move around. It's kind of gardening but without all the effort.”

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday - Sunday, 10am-4pm


  • Old Library Building
  • The Arts Centre
  • 2 Worcester Boulevard
  • Christchurch