Anna Priluka is a painter, printmaker based in Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island. Originally from rural Melbourne, she moved to New Zealand 10 years ago and now paints full-time from her yurt house/studio in Albert Town.
Her works are hypothetical ecosystems on a small scale. Using traditional botanical and natural history illustration as a starting point, and influenced by the sumptuous compositions of 17th century Dutch still lifes, each relies on a range of sources – from recent ecological surveys and botanical identification studies to cookbooks and gardening manuals . They are species lists made visual. The round format of the panels is reminiscent of the magnified circles of textbook ecosystem illustrations, but each circle is also a cycle – a community either blossoming or unraveling at the edges. In a time of worldwide environmental change, they focus on the nearby and the local, on the often overlooked – the diminutive that disappears before we even notice it. They seek to celebrate the wonderful diversity and beautiful strangeness of New Zealand’s native environment, while at the same time reminding us of the fragility that is inherent in such complex, interdependent systems.