‘Garden of Her Dreams’ by Shany van den Berg X Everard Read

WORDS Cheri Wolf IMAGES Supplied

Shany van den Berg’s latest exhibition at Joburg’s Everard Read, ‘Garden of Her Dreams’ is an earthen romance of bird, bronze and bouquet.

‘Garden of Her Dreams’ is a continuation of Shany‘s painterly, sculptural and human exploration of nature, womanhood and the artist’s place in the world. An evolution of her 2022 solo in London, ‘Her Garden’, it is a luscious dialogue between familial and seasonal cycles of life. Informed by a devotion to plant life as passed from mother to daughter, it narrates memories and knowledge of people, wilderness and the intersection thereof.

shany van den berg

A profusion of flowers in her daily life, both real and translated into image, pollinates Shany’s ‘ongoing exploration of the symbolism and evocative powers of flora. For the artist, the delicate petals of flowers carry the weight of ‘love, passion, purity, innocence and death’. In this way, her garden – literal or painted – is where soul and body go to rest and be restored

Toward reflecting the nuances of sanctuary in this body of work, Shany brings the outdoors into the canvases’ nocturnal narratives through intricate floral arrangements – as inspired by her own sculptures, dreams and impressions. Each painted flower is treated as a portrait, while each female form references iconic reclining nudes by masters like Delacroix, Velázquez and Moore, the women also denote Gaia – nurturer of all.

‘Garden of Her Dreams’ is on show form 22 June to 22 July 2023 at Everard Read. For more information, visit everard-read.com.

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