9 December 2021 - 22 January 2022

Karl Maughan (b.1964) takes the garden as his subject matter. From wild and overgrown hedges to meticulously manicured lawns, Maughan deftly captures the light, colour, texture, and pattern found in nature. Over the last three decades the artist has developed his own distinct visual language, which has in turn taken on a life of its own, shooting and sprouting in different directions. The garden continues to offer both artist and viewer new opportunities for discovery; whether thrust onto thick undergrowth or invited to wander up a well-cut path, we are left marvelling at the vibrancy and immediacy of these botanical creations.


Karl doesn’t use an easel. Like a gardener, he wanders brush-in-hand between the stretched canvasses, going along the row, adjusting or introducing a new element. He has the tanned complexion you would expect of a horticulturist rather than a painter. He wears shorts, year round. Roman sandals or sneakers. A jagged line of yellow from a loaded brush leaves a sun-like iridescence along the upper edge of a flower shape, and another, and another. The opposite of pruning or picking flowers. Back the brush goes to the lunar landscape of the palette, and here it comes again.


– excerpt from Gregory O’Brien’s “Florescence: Notes from the Studio” in Karl Maughan, Auckland University Press in association with Gow Langsford Gallery, 2020.